Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Somalia on Friday, amid heavy security, on the third and last leg of his East African tour to open Turkish sponsored projects including health facilities and the largest Turkish embassy in the world.
Turkey’s engagement in Somalia has made visible changes to the country in many areas from health to infrastructure.
Bilateral agreements have also been signed, including treaties to train the Somali national army.
“Today, we are all here together in Turkish embassy which is the largest in the world,” said Erdogan.
This was the third visit by Erdogan to Mogadishu since August 2011, when his visit helped turn attention to the deadly famine that ravaged much of southern Somalia at the time.
“This new embassy is the sign of how our brother, the President of Turkey, the Turkish people and their government, are committed to the Somali people and we thank them for it, thank you,” said Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia.
Turkey has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to war-ravaged Somalia since 2011, according to Turkish officials. Last week, the Turkish Cabinet approved $24 million in budgetary support to Somalia for this year.
— Foreign Affairs (@MofaSomalia) June 3, 2016
Erdogan’s visit comes after his tour of Uganda and Kenya where he vowed to boost security and economic ties between East Africa and Turkey, and help bring peace in the region.