Sevil ErkuşANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
President Erdoğan heads to Africa. AA Photo
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has rejected advice to cancel the second Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, over fears of the spread of the Ebola virus.
Erdoğan has insisted on going ahead with the scheduled summit in order to display solidarity with the host country, Foreign Ministry officials told the Hürriyet Daily News. The Turkish president will attend the summit in Malabo on Nov. 20-21.
Following the launch of Turkey’s “opening up to Africa" strategy, the country has transited to the phase of “partnership with Africa” since 2013, according to officials.
Around 200 business leaders and a delegation led by Erdoğan with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will attend the summit in Malabo. The leaders from many countries in Africa have also been invited.
The Joint Declaration and Action Plan for the Turkish-African partnership from 2015 to 2018 is expected to be approved at the gathering. The plan includes actions in many sectors, including industry, education, health, trade, energy, investment, and peace and security.
The African Union declared Turkey a strategic partner in 2008, and a Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit was held the same year in Istanbul.
Turkey has opened 39 embassies in Africa, while more than 30 African countries have opened diplomatic missions in Turkey, Erdoğan told reporters on Nov. 19 ahead of his visit to Algeria.
The trade volume between Turkey and Sub-Saharan countries has increased more than tenfold over the past 10 years, he stressed, adding that Turkish Airlines had launched direct flights to 40 destinations in Africa.
Turkey to send liaison officer and cargo plane to Central African Republic
As part of contributions to U.N. missions in Africa, Turkey will participate in the European Union
Force RCA, known as EUFOR RCA, the United Nations-mandated EU peacekeeping mission in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.
Ankara plans to send liaison officers and a C130 aircraft to the Central African Republic, Foreign Ministry officials told the Daily News. A motion on the matter was recently submitted to Parliament.