Somalia is the main example that shows the importance Türkiye attaches to the economic development, social peace and stability of the African continent, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Somali counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in the capital Ankara, Erdogan said that Turkey has provided more than $1 billion worth of humanitarian aid to Somalia in the last 10 years.
Turkey's joint steps taken with the Mogadishu government in 2011 have helped Somalia revitalize, as the country was on the brink of collapse, Erdogan also said.
"In 2011, Somalia was on the brink of collapse as the international community articulated. So in 2011, we paid an official visit to Somalia with a large delegation to extend a message to the world that we are standing with our Somali brothers and sisters," he added.
Noting that the joint steps taken with Somalia have aided the country to revitalize and develop even further, Erdogan said the bilateral trade volume reached $363 million last year, which was only $2 million in 2013.
Turkey's largest embassy building in the world is located in the Somali capital Mogadishu, Erdogan said, adding that his country is proud of it.
For his part, Mohamud thanked the Turkish nation for its investments in Somalia, expressing appreciation to Turkey and its people for the endeavor and efforts about the humanitarian situation his country has been facing.
Erdogan welcomed Mohamud, who was on a four-day official visit to Turkey, with an official ceremony at the Presidential Complex.
The leaders held one-on-one talks before delegation-level meetings followed by a signing ceremony and a joint news conference.
Earlier in the day, Mohamud visited Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish republic, and laid a wreath at his gravesite.
Paying tributes to Atatürk, Mohamud wrote in the visitors' book: "Being a supreme commander leading the Turkish nation in the difficult days of history has made you a torch for the Turkish nation on this path to peace."
Prior to his Ankara visit, the Somali president met with Somali soldiers receiving commando training in the western Turkish province of Isparta.
"I visited our brave soldiers undergoing commando training in Isparta, Turkey, with the assistance of the Turkish government," he wrote on Twitter.
"I met some great future Somali military officers & leaders & I am proud of them all. We are grateful to Turkey for this valuable security assistance," he added.
Bilateral relations and steps to enhance cooperation were mainly discussed in depth during the visit. This was Mohamud's first official visit to Turkey at the presidential level after taking office in May. He also served as Somalia's president between 2012 and 2017.