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SOMALIA: Delegation from Turkey arrives in Mogadishu

A 213-member high-level delegation from Turkey completed a one-day visit to Mogadishu to learn the needs of Somalia and explore business opportunities in the country. It is the largest such delegation to Somalia since 1991.

The delegation comprises of officials from the ministries of Foreign Affairs; Environment and Urban Planning; Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry; Forestry and Water; Transportation; Health; and the Directorate of Religious Affairs as well as the prime minister’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate, the Housing Development Administration of Turkey and the Turkish Red Crescent.

The delegates led by Turkish ambassador to Somalia, H.E. Kani Torun, also participated in a field visit and had the opportunity to engage with several ministries, agencies and local business community to conduct sector-based analysis on healthcare, water, housing, transport, etc.

The General Manager of Turkish Airlines, Dr. Temel Kotil, told they delivered modern equipment to Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport, and broke good news for the Somali people that his airline will start flights to and from Mogadishu, making the first international airline to have scheduled flights from Mogadishu in 21 years. The CEO was accompanied by airport maintenance engineers.

The President of Somalia received some of the delegates at a lunch reception he hosted at the presidential palace. The president said:
“A delegation of this size shows Turkish government and people’s solidarity with Somali people at this hour of need and that the promises of Turkish Prime Minister are being materialized.”

Welcoming the delegates, the Somalia Prime Minister, Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, said:
“We are pleased to welcome this delegation to Mogadishu, because Turkish partnership in many fields and in economic development is of great interest and relevance to Somalia.”

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s trip to Mogadishu in August this year broke the perception that the city was a no-go zone and has drawn the world attention on Somalia.

Meanwhile, the Somali Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Hussein Arab Isse, received on Monday 5,000 tons of humanitarian aid from Turkey. The aid tents, sanitary supplies, food, light work machinery and five fully equipped ambulances.

In addition to addressing the short-term effects of the drought and famine, The Somali Government requests the world to help in planning for the future through peace building efforts and economic development so that Somalia can stand on its feet again.