Interior minister meets Somali counterpart

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 17.01.2019 00:34

Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu met with his Somali counterpart yesterday in Ankara.

Security Minister Abukar Hassan Islow arrived in the Turkish capital to hold "important and productive" official talks with Turkish authorities. He was welcomed by Soylu and his delegation.

"We are striving to bring the two countries' bilateral relations to a better level, from development assistance to humanitarian aid and cooperation in security," Soylu said.

Both ministers also expressed their satisfaction on the realization of bilateral agreements signed between Somalia and Turkey in 2018.

Soylu hailed relations with Somalia, saying Turkey regards them as "fraternal rather than diplomatic." "The history of our relations will be written in golden letters," he added.

Islow for his part said the Somali people would never forget that Turkey was the first country to help them tackle the humanitarian crisis during the 2011 drought.

"We have had a difficult time, and our friends didn't let us down. It's impossible for us to forget that, and it is Allah who will reward all the good we have received," he added.

Islow also said his country is ready to reach out if there would be a day when Turkey needs help and invited Soylu to visit Somalia.

Upon the invitation, Soylu said he would visit the East African nation after March.

Turkey has been the biggest supporter of Somalia for years and has its biggest embassy in Africa in Mogadishu. Since 2011, Turkey has provided over $500 million in aid to Somalia and helped the Somali people in such areas as education, health, roads, ports, airports, fisheries and energy. Last September, Turkey opened its largest overseas military training academy in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

It has the capacity to train more than 1,500 troops at a time, according to the Somali government.

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