UPDATES WITH NEW MEETINGS, CHANGES IN HEADLINE, DECK, BODY
By Jeyhun Aliyev and Burak Bir
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday met his counterparts from different African countries who are attending the 3rd Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit in Istanbul.
Cavusoglu said on Twitter that he met Albert Shingiro of Burundi, Kandia Camara of Ivory Coast, and Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava of Zimbabwe.
He later held meetings with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania, Sylvie Baipo Temon of Central African Republic, David Francis of Sierra Leone, and Abdisaid Muse Ali of Somalia.
The first Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit was held in Istanbul, second in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, and the third has kicked off at the Istanbul Congress Center.
Held under the auspices of Turkey's presidency, the three-day summit, which will continue till Saturday, is being attended by heads of state or government and representatives of international institutions from African countries.
Turkey’s engagement with the African continent has been gaining pace over the years. In October, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan undertook a four-day diplomatic tour to three African countries – Angola, Nigeria, and Togo.
Turkey has said its African policy, which encompasses political, humanitarian, economic, and cultural spheres, is part of its multidimensional foreign policy.
Turkey aims to contribute to the economic and social development of the continent with peace and stability, as well as to develop bilateral relations on the basis of equal partnership and mutual benefit.
To this effect, the number of Turkish embassies in Africa has increased from just 12 in 2002 to 43 in 2021.
Turkey's trade with Africa was $5.4 billion in 2003, which climbed to $25.3 billion by 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic.