Somali president lauds Turkey's support

MOGADISHU – Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud on Sunday praised Turkey's role in the development of his country.

"Somalia is recovering and achieving significant developments, such as taking control of several areas that were in the grip of Al-Shabaab militant movement," Mohamoud said in a statement on the sidelines of an ongoing visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Mogadishu.

"If it had not been for Turkey's generous support, along with the rest of the international community, we wouldn't have achieved such progress," Mohamoud added.

"Turkey did not wait until the situation became stable in Somalia in order to invest, and it made sacrifices for the development of the country when others preferred to invest in other safer places," the president added.

Mohamoud went on to say that Turkey's contribution to the development and stability in Somalia is "an indication of the fraternal relations [between the two countries], especially in such critical period we are going through."

"We hope that this relationship continues after Somalia achieves prosperity and stability," he said.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan arrived in Mogadishu where he was received by Mohamud. The Turkish leader pushed ahead with the trip despite a bomb exploding near a hotel in Mogadishu where a Turkish delegation was staying.

The president is accompanied by his wife and daughter, Emine and Sumeyye Erdogan, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Science and Industry Minister Fikri Isik, and Forestry and Water Minister Veysel Eroglu.

The visit is the second to Somalia by the Turkish leader in four years. He first visited the country in 2011 as prime minister at the height of the Somali famine.

Turkey has since been the most visible foreign country to help war-torn Somalia rebuild its crumbling infrastructure, a stance that has been highly valued by Mohamud.

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