The Ankara-Mogadishu partnership is “extremely positive and growing by the day and by the night,” said the visiting Somali president on Tuesday.
Speaking at a panel titled Benefits of the Türkiye-Somalia Partnership, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said: “Among the key benefits of Somalia’s relationship with Türkiye is a strong political and diplomatic connection, and cooperation in the fight against global terrorism.”
He said the centuries-old relationship between Somalia and Türkiye is based on respect and cooperation, adding that “the whole world was astonished” when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a visit to Somalia in 2011 at the height of a humanitarian crisis in Mogadishu.
In every meeting with Erdogan, Turkish government officials, civil society members, and the business community, Somalia is “seen as more than just an opportunity,” Mohamud told the panel held by an Ankara-based think tank, Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research.
“It is not only humanitarian (concerns) that drives the Turkish energy to support Somalia, but it is a value base faith that is what drives the Turkish government and the Turkish people to support Somalia,” he added.
Somalia is receiving support from all over the world for the last couple of decades, but Türkiye’s support is “unique and different,” Mohamud said.
– Focus on core governance structures in Somalia
Somalia has been struggling with the al-Qaeda-affiliated international terrorist organization Al-Shabab for 15 years, as it has harmed many lives in the Horn of Africa country.
The president stressed the importance of security for Somalia, saying: “We wanted to focus on building Somalia’s core governance structures and systems to be as inclusive, transparent, and beneficial as possible to enable our country to be more unified, stable, and with sustainable development.
“Somali people will be at the core of implementing this vision. We know that it is also managed to do the heavy lifting for their own future.”
This vision, he said, is a journey rather than a race. “Social cohesion on public trust in the national institution will take place. We have a social reconciliation agenda to reconcile our society in all their settings.”
Somalia’s president is paying a two-day official visit to Türkiye, ending on Tuesday.
This is Mohamud’s first official visit to Türkiye at the presidential level after taking office in May. He also served as Somalia’s president between 2012 and 2017.