Turkey and Somalia have agreed to boost their defence and economic ties in a bid to enhance their partnership and the stability of the region.
The defense and economic cooperation framework agreement was signed on Thursday in Ankara by Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler and his Somali counterpart Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, who was received as an official guest with a military ceremony.
The agreement covers various aspects of cooperation, such as the fight against terrorism, military-financial assistance, and joint training and exercises.
The two ministers also discussed bilateral and regional defense and security issues and expressed their mutual support for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Guler praised Somalia’s efforts to build a national army with the Somali Gorgor commandos, a special force trained by Turkish instructors, and said they were a source of inspiration for the African continent.
Nur thanked Turkey for its continuous support and friendship, and said the agreement would further strengthen the existing relations between the two countries.
He also recalled the historic visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Somalia in 2011, which marked a turning point in the bilateral ties and opened a new chapter of cooperation and solidarity.
Turkey and Somalia have enjoyed close relations for decades, and Turkey has been one of the main donors and investors in Somalia’s reconstruction and development. Turkey also operates a military base in Mogadishu, where it trains Somali soldiers, sand contributes to the fight against the al-Shabaab terrorist group.
Turkey has also donated armoured vehicles like the Kirpi, logistics trucks, and other equipment to Somalia to help stabilize the country, and is also part of Turkeys drive to increase its influence in the region dominated by the United States and China.