Turkey and Iran pledge support to rebuild Somalia

Turkey and Iran pledge support to rebuild Somalia

Top government officials from Iran and Turkey arrived in Mogadishu yesterday on a one-day visit in a bid to bolster diplomatic and economic ties with Somalia as it emerges from decades of civil strife.

 Leading the two delegations were Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi. Ahmet Davutoğlu told the recently constituted Somali Parliament that Ankara would help Somalia in its rebuilding effort.

 “You are not alone, we are always with you and will help you rebuild this country,” Agence France-Presse quoted Davutoğlu as saying.

Salehi for his part told journalists at the airport on his arrival that Iran would soon establish a diplomatic presence in Somalia. “Our purpose in coming to Somalia is to keep extending our brotherly hand to the Somali people. We are delighted to be in Mogadishu today and very soon, the Iranian government will open the Embassy of Iran in Somalia,” Salehi said.

The two ministers pledged the support of their respective countries in improving Somalia’s infrastructure, with Iran planning to construct a hospital and Turkey offering to build a road.