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December 8, 2021
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Erdogan: “Turkey is a strategic partner for African countries”

– Statement by the Turkish President at a press conference ahead of his African tour which includes Angola, Togo and Nigeria

Erdogan: "Turkey is a strategic partner for African countries" Erdogan: “Turkey is a strategic partner for African countries”

Ankara

AA / Istanbul

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called his country’s relations with African countries “strategic”.

This is what emerged from President Erdogan’s statement at a press conference held in Istanbul ahead of his African tour which will include Angola, Togo and Nigeria from October 17 to 20.

“Turkey is a strategic partner for African countries with a trade volume exceeding 25 billion dollars at the end of 2020”, underlined President Erdogan.

The Turkish President said he has made 38 visits to 28 African countries so far as Prime Minister and President of the Republic.

He stressed that his visits to Angola and Togo were of particular importance, being, officially, the first at the level of the Presidency of the Republic.

The Turkish head of state said that Turkey is seeking to get closer to the countries of the African continent in all areas, along with the expansion of the network of Turkish diplomatic representations on the continent.

Regarding Angola – the first station of his tour – Erdogan stressed that it would be a new stage for relations between the two countries, which comes three months after the visit of his Angolan counterpart Joao Lourenço to Turkey.

On the program of the visit, President Erdogan indicated that he will deliver a speech in the Angolan Parliament, then will chair with his Angolan counterpart a meeting of the business forum between the two countries.

Bilateral relations, including major advances in the areas of defense and security, will also be on the agenda.

Regarding Togo, Erdogan said that his country’s embassy in the capital, Lomé, began work on April 1, bringing the number of Turkish embassies in Africa to 43.

The Turkish President has indicated that he will discuss with his Togolese counterpart, Faure Gnassingbé, ways of developing relations between the two countries.

Erdogan also signaled that he will meet in Togo the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and the President of Liberia George Weah during a working banquet sponsored by the Presidency of the Republic of Togo, in addition to bilateral meetings. with its counterparts.

As for his visit to Nigeria, the third and final stop on his tour, Erdogan said that this visit is important for a member country of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the African Union, the Economic Community of States of West Africa, the Petroleum Exporters Organization (OPEC) and the Group of Eight Islamic Developing Countries (D-8).

Erdogan will discuss with Nigerian officials how to develop the relationship, with Nigeria being Turkey’s largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, with the trade volume between the two countries reaching $ 2 billion last year.

The Turkish President stressed that his country aims to increase the trade volume to $ 5 billion in the next step, noting that there is military cooperation between the two countries in the fields of defense industries as well as the fight against terrorism.

“We do not consider cooperation relations with African countries as short-term or aimed at serving our interests,” said the Turkish head of state.

The Turkish head of state also said that his country has provided equipment and medical supplies to 159 countries and 12 international institutions to help them fight the Coronavirus epidemic.

Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s commitment to do everything possible to provide Turkey’s “Turkovac” vaccine when ready, in support of all countries in need.

The President of the Republic of Turkey also underlined that Istanbul will host the Third Turkish-African Business Forum on October 21 and 22, and on December 17 and 18 the Joint Turkish-African Summit.

Erdogan said: “I am convinced that the role of the African continent will be prominent on the international stage in the 21st century, so we want to advance our relations on the basis of mutual benefit and equal partnership.”

He noted that his country continues to strengthen rapprochement with the African continent in all areas.

And to add: “We will never adopt the old colonial policies with modern means, on the contrary, we work to succeed and to go hand in hand with our African brothers”.

Erdogan is accompanied during his tour by ministers and deputies, as well as by representatives of the world of finance and business.

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