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Somali President thanks Turkey for support

Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Monday expressed deep appreciation to Turkey for supporting his country’s development, security and humanitarian needs.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud expressed his gratitude after meeting with Turkish Ambassador to Somalia Ibrahim Mete Yagli in the central city of Dusamareb. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations between Somalia and Turkey, recent security developments and a number of other issues of mutual interest, the Presidency of Somalia reported.

Yagli attended the meeting accompanied by TurkSom’s commander-in-chief Brigadier General Sebahattin Kalkan.

Camp TurkSom, located in the capital, Mogadishu, is Türkiye’s largest overseas military base and training facility. It has the capacity to accommodate around 1,500 trainees at a time and has already trained more 5,000 Somali security forces. Somalia’s Presidency said in a statement on X:

“During the meeting, the president commended the distinguished close relations between the two brotherly countries.”

Mogadishu is currently campaigning for the lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia. The UN Security Council imposed the embargo in early 1992 following the overthrow of the military regime in Somalia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s 2011 visit to Somalia cemented the two countries’ close economic, diplomatic and military friendship. Turkey has since built an 80,000 square metre (861,112 -square-feet) embassy in Mogadishu, which is its largest embassy in Africa.

Thanks to the work of Turkish humanitarian organisations, famine in Somalia in 2022 has been averted. In 2021-2023, the country experienced one of the worst droughts in half a century.

Last month, the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu hosted a signing ceremony for a joint venture agreement between Turkish and Somalia companies to build a biogas power plant in Mogadishu. Embassy officials note that the plant will have a production capacity of 5.6 MWh, which will provide energy to around 40,000 homes by the end of 2024. Somalia is also expected to see the opening of a branch of Ziraat Bank in Mogadishu, which will be the first Turkish bank in Somalia.

Somalia, which has significant ties to Turkey, is fighting a regional insurgency by the al-Shabaab militia but has faced a partial arms ban, imposed first in 1992 then partially relaxed. After Syria, Somalia is the largest recipient of aid from Turkish civil society.

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