MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated Turkish embassy’s new building complex in Mogadishu Friday.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud also attended the opening ceremony.
In remarks made at the ceremony, Erdogan said: "Currently, we are in the Mogadishu Embassy Complex of the Republic of Turkey. It is the number one complex in the world.
"We have such a magnificent complex. Everywhere I go I always tell friends to give us a sizable place like this to construct an embassy worthy of the glory of the Republic of Turkey."
Turkey appointed its first ambassador to Mogadishu in 1981 and has maintained a diplomatic presence there since then.
Erdogan also said that Turkey was building a military training center in Mogadishu. “I hope I will be in Mogadishu during its inauguration," he said.
He added that the Turkish Red Crescent Health Vocational School will begin its training program in September with 600 students.
Erdogan said Turkey’s “target is to open 54 embassies in all 54 African countries…13 to 14 years ago, we were present in 12 countries but now we are in 39 countries.”
He also expressed his satisfaction with Somalia’s progress. “I am so happy to see the steps you’ve taken since I first arrived here in 2011.”
Erdogan’s visit comes after his tour to Uganda and Kenya where he vowed to boost security and economic ties between East Africa and Turkey, and help bring peace in the region.
Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdogan, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also attended the inauguration ceremony.
Erdogan previously visited Somalia in 2011 when he was then the Turkish prime minister. The same year, Turkey began providing humanitarian assistance to the east African state.
Since 2011, Turkey has made a concentrated effort to provide the Somali people basic needs, including security, education, health, institutional capacity building, the building of state institutions, roads, ports, airports, fisheries and energy.