Turkey's Foreign Ministry condemned the deadly terrorist attack in Timbuktu, Mali that left four soldiers from the Ivory Coast dead and five wounded.
"We are saddened to receive the news that four MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali) peacekeepers from Cote D'Ivoire lost their lives and a further five were wounded in a terrorist attack (Wednesday) in the Timbuktu region of Mali," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
"We condemn this terrorist attack," it added.
Extending condolences to the families of those who lost their lives, as well as to the "friendly and brotherly" people and the government of the Ivory Coast, the ministry wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
MINUSMA was established in 2013 by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2100 to stabilize Mali after the 2012 Tuareg rebellion.
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 African Union (AU) the same year. In a reciprocal move, the AU 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 in African countries, with five of them in North Africa. Now, there are 42.