Turkey will continue its humanitarian activities in Somalia till peace and stability will be built in the country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
The Turkish leader and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud held a joint press conference after they attended the Turkey-Somalia Business Forum in Istanbul.
“Somalia became a symbol for Turkey’s perspective on the African continent and our wish to establish brotherhood with other African countries,” Erdogan said.
The Turkish president also called on the international community to make investments in Somalia.
President Erdogan referred his Somalia visit held in 2011 saying; “Somalia, which was on the verge of devastation and had lost all hope in 2011, stood up again with Turkish and international joint efforts.”
Regarding the upcoming Somali parliamentary elections to be held this year, Erdogan described them as “the most important step” in the country’s transformational period.
“Of course, Somalia's problems and troubles are not yet over,” Erdogan added. “Many critical issues particularly the fight against terrorism and the reconstruction of the government are waiting to be resolved.”
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud also reiterated the government’s determination to rid his country of the al-Shabaab terrorist group.
“We must ensure that al-Shabaab not be a threat to Somali people anymore. We should do it not only for ourselves, but also we must do for our neighbors, our region and the world,” he said.
Mohamoud also praised Turkey’s charity activities in Somalia and adding that Istanbul had promised to build a public transportation system in Somalia.
The Somali president said that Istanbul would grant 30 buses to Somalia. Turkish technicians will also teach their Somali counterparts about repair and management.
Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.
The country had appeared to inch closer to stability with the recent installation of a new government and the intervention of African Union troops tasked with combatting al-Shabaab militants.