Turkey’s parliament speaker congratulated Somalia on Thursday for 61 years of independence.

Mustafa Sentop sent a letter to his counterpart in Somalia’s parliament, Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman.

“Turkey attaches importance to the development of its relations with Somalia. Inter-parliamentary visits and contacts, which we can intensify with our joint efforts, will undoubtedly contribute positively to these relations,” said Sentop.

“As I celebrate your National Day once again, I wish you and your esteemed members of the Somali National Assembly good health and success,” he added.

Somalia gained independence on July 1, 1960, from Italy.

A former British protectorate, Somaliland gained its independence in 1960 but days later joined Somalia.

In 1991, it self-proclaimed its independence from the rest of the country following a war with the government in Mogadishu.

Somalia does not recognize Somaliland’s breakaway status.

Somalia is bounded by the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, Kenya and Ethiopia to the west, and Djibouti to the northwest.

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