Gambia will always stand by Turkey, Gambia's Foreign Minister Mamadou Tangara said Thursday, underlining that he welcomes Turkey's particular attention and steps to enhance ties with African countries.
Speaking in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara, Tangara stressed that Gambia welcomes Turkey's support in all fields and added that, "Gambia will always stand by Turkey."
Highlighting that peace and stability is necessary to achieve certain levels in development and security, Tangara said Turkey has long been providing support to Gambia's security. The Gambian foreign minister underscored that while many countries have been closing their embassies in Africa; Turkey has continued to open embassies in various parts of the continent, a move strengthening Turkey's ties with Africa and welcomed by Gambia.
Following the bilateral meetings, Çavuşoğlu also underscored that the cooperation for the development agreement signed with Gambia will take ties to a higher level. He added that, "Turkish Airlines' direct flights will increase to three, and our investments have been enhancing our ties with Gambia."
In recent years, Turkey has been pursuing an official policy of outreach to Africa, opening new diplomatic representations, offering development aid and forging closer economic ties on the principle of "win-win" for all sides.
Speaking at a conference in Ankara, Çavusoğlu also stressed that the world should carefully take into account the huge contributions Africa can make to the global economy prompted by a "reawakening" in the upcoming decades.
Turkey's opening up to Africa, which dates back to the action plan adopted in 1988, took shape in 2005. Since then, the country has focused on comprehensive and long-term policies based on diversifying its relations with the continent. In that sense, the fields of agriculture, water resource management, rural development, health, micro-macro enterprises and security have played pivotal roles in Turkey's economic transactions with Africa.
In the past few decades, humanitarian aid has been one of the prominent elements in Turkey's African policy. As a part of Turkey's developmental aid to Africa, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) currently operates in the continent through 15 program coordination offices and with the help of these offices, technical assistance is provided to African countries.
Along with the activities of TİKA, Turkey also works with international humanitarian organizations, including the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to provide humanitarian assistance to Africa.
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