ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
PM Erdoğan (2nd L) holds a Somali child at a visit to the country.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
will conduct official visits to three African countries in January in a bid to boost Turkey’s profile on the continent and promote it as a model Muslim democracy.
Erdoğan’s first stop will be Gabon’s Libreville on Jan. 7, where he will hold talks with both Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba and Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima, according to a statement from the Prime Ministry’s press office released Dec. 20.
Erdoğan will also address the Gabonese Parliament. Following Libreville, Erdoğan will proceed to Niamey, Niger, to meet Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou. Erdoğan will also hold talks with Senegalese President Macky Sall and Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye Jan. 9-11 in Dakar as the last stop of his tour.
In addition to reviewing relations with the three countries, the visits will also provide an opportunity to discuss developments concerning Africa. Since declaring 2005 the “Year of Africa,” Turkey has expanded its diplomatic footprint on the continent as a precursor to opening new supply routes for its fast-growing, resource-hungry economy.