Turkey’s Erdogan Vows to Deepen Ties With Africa

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said ahead of his Africa tour on Sunday that his country would seek a comprehensive relationship with partners on the continent.

“We will continue building a closer relationship with Africa across all spheres. Our trade with African countries topped $25 billion in 2020 thanks to a growing network of diplomatic missions on the continent,” he told reporters in Istanbul.

Erdogan is on a four-day tour of Angola, Nigeria and Togo, where he is expected to make agreements on trade and defense industry cooperation.

He took a swipe at European powers saying Turkey opposed attempts to “preserve old colonial ways.” He said Ankara would seek to become Africa’s strategic partner, instead of relying on “short-lived, benefit-oriented” ties.

Turkey has been rapidly expanding its Africa outreach since Erdogan came to power in 2002. The president said he visited 28 African countries 38 times in the past two decades. The number of Turkish embassies on the continent grew more than three times during the same period.

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