Africa, Turkey extend cordial partnership
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – TURKEY has reiterated its decades-old solidarity with the African continent.
The pledge came as Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, hosted the second Africa-Turkey Partnership Summit, which is expected to lay out the groundwork for the next four years.
The theme of the Summit is “A New Model for Partnership for Strengthening of Sustainable Development and Integration of Africa.”
“We will agree on new milestones and objectives in our common quest for further cooperation in the interests of both sides.
“We will adopt two documents during the Summit: The Declaration and the Joint Implementation Plan for 2015-2018,” said Turkey Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavu.
In 2013, Turkey embarked upon a new policy, the Turkey-Africa Partnership, which takes the motto of “African issues require African solutions” as the main principle.
Çavuşoğlu said as part of this new Partnership Policy, Turkey would pursue a multi-layered approach in Africa.
“We will establish close political relations by intensifying bilateral high level visits and, by acting as the voice of Africa, advocating the rights and the positions of African nations both at the bilateral and multilateral level.
“We will partner with African nations in the economic sphere to overcome their challenges through more trade, investment and humanitarian assistance,” the minister said.
“Moreover, whenever requested, we will stand ready to play our diplomatic role to contribute to the peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes. We do not consider ourselves as outsiders to the continent, rather a strategic partner working together to make further advances in the areas of democracy, good governance and prosperity.”
Çavulu said Turkey’s multifaceted activities and efforts throughout the Continent in the past decade are certainly a clear testimony of the country’s continued determination to further develop its relations and build stronger ties with the African countries, the African Union and the African regional organizations.
Turkey’s first diplomatic representation in sub-Saharan Africa goes back to the very beginning of 20th century, the first Turkish Consulate was established in 1912 in Harar, Ethiopia.
Today, channels of interaction and communication are vastly expanded with around 39 Turkish Embassies across the continent and Embassies of 32 African countries in Ankara.
Since Turkey’s Opening Policy towards Africa in 2005, there has been increased engagement with African countries with Turkey has become an important partner for development, trade and investment in Africa.
Turkish Airlines has become one of the major international carriers of the Continent, flying directly to nearly 40 destinations.
– CAJ News
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