Angolan President Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco is scheduled to pay an official visit to Turkey on Monday at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to Turkey's Communications Directorate.
In a statement, the directorate said that Turkey-Angola relations will be reviewed in all its dimensions at the meeting – the first at the presidential level – along with opportunities to develop cooperation in various fields.
In the one-on-one and inter-delegation meetings, regional and international developments, especially in Africa, will also be evaluated during the visit set to last until Thursday, it added.
As part of the visit, agreements to lay the groundwork for bilateral ties are also to be signed.
Having previously adopted a single-dimensional foreign policy shaped by its relations with the West for decades, Turkey has more recently shifted its direction to a more diversified, multidimensional and independent foreign policy. Turkey's opening up to Africa, which dates back to the action plan adopted in 1998, took shape in 2005 when it was declared the “Year of Africa” by Ankara and Turkey was accorded observer status by the Africa Union the same year.
In a reciprocal move, the African Union declared Turkey its strategic partner in 2008, and relations between Africa and Turkey gained momentum when the first Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit was held in the commercial capital Istanbul with the participation of representatives from 50 African countries that year.
In 2009, there were only 12 Turkish embassies across the whole of the African continent, with five of them in North Africa. Now, there are 43. While Turkish Airlines has flights to 60 different destinations in 39 African countries, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has nearly 30 coordination centers on the continent and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) has joint business councils with more than half of the African countries.
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