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Erdogan to begin diplomacy tour to 3 African countries on Sunday

October 13, 2021 at 5:41 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey on October 11, 2021 [Mustafa Kamacı/Anadolu Agency]

The Turkish president will leave on Sunday for a four-day diplomatic tour to three African countries, diplomatic sources have told Anadolu Agency.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has officially visited 28 African countries to date and will now tour Angola, Nigeria, and Togo.

The trip is significant, as Turkey is hosting two important events in Istanbul: a two-day Turkey-Africa 3rd Economy and Business Summit on 21 October,  and a two-day Turkey-Africa 3rd Partnership Summit on  17 December.

Turkey’s African policy, which encompasses political, humanitarian, economic, and cultural spheres, is part of its multi-dimensional foreign policy.

Turkey aims to contribute to the economic and social development of the continent with peace and stability, as well as to develop bilateral relations on the basis of equal partnership and mutual benefit.

To this effect, the number of Turkish embassies in Africa has increased from just 12 in 2002 to 43 in 2021.

Turkey’s trade with Africa was $5.4 billion at the end of 2003, which climbed to $25.3 billion by 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

According to sources, Erdogan is expected to meet his Angolan counterpart, Joao Lourencho, as well as attend a forum with business people from both countries.

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Erdogan hosted Lourencho in July, and the two leaders inked agreements of cooperation on air transport, mutual promotion of investments, hydrocarbons and mining, renewable energy, and visa exemptions.

Sources said Erdogan will also meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, and attend the Turkey-Nigeria Business Forum on his second visit to the West African country.

Steps will be taken to harness the true potential of the two countries’ relations during the talks, which will include bilateral economic and regional developments. Three agreements in the fields of hydrocarbons, mining, and energy are also expected to be signed.

Nigeria is Turkey’s top trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a trading volume of $754 million in 2020, which is expected to rise to more than $1 billion.

Fight against Gulen supporters, behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, will also be discussed during the Turkish president’s visit.

Togo will be President Erdogan’s last stop, where he will discuss ways to improve bilateral relations and expansion of bilateral trade, which was $150 million in 2020.

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