DAKAR, Senegal (AA) – Turkey’s ambassador to Senegal has joined the country’s president in launching the second phase of a major new urban center building project near the capital, Dakar.
President Macky Sall, in the presence of Turkish ambassador Zeynep Sibel Algan, laid the first stone of the Dakar Arena multipurpose sports complex, the Dakar Expo Center and a new five-star hotel.
Speaking at the ceremony on Monday, Sall welcomed the quality of Turkish-Senegal relations, adding that the launch of such projects showed the "excellent" ties between the two countries.
"I thank especially Turkey’s President Erdogan, who has commitment to our side, through TURK- Eximbank. It will strengthen and bring other investment opportunities and mutually beneficial partnerships for both countries," Sall said.
The construction of the three projects will be done by Turkish company Summa. These three projects are among a dozen others under construction in the new city, 40 kilometers [25 miles] north of Dakar.
In April, Turkish firm Limak and the Senegalese Ministry of Air Transportation signed an agreement on the continuation of work and operation of Blaise Diagne International Airport, western Senegal.
Last February, when President Erdogan visited Dakar, he expressed his wish to increase trade between the two countries.
"Thank God we had the opportunity to see relations develop in all areas with Senegal. In 2013, the trade volume reached $122 million. We need to strengthen it, given that in 2013, we have set a target of $250 million. There is still a gap from this objective. But we will realize it and go from there,” Erdogan said at the time.