Turkey is Africa’s voice, says Gul

ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)–Turkey’s unfinished business with Africa is continuing, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Monday, while adding that Turkey is “Africa’s voice” in international platforms, during a joint news conference with Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa.

Gul and Kabila held a bilateral meeting and then jointly chaired a committee gathering between the two countries after an official ceremony hosted by Kabila. During the meeting, the two countries signed an agreement to establish a political counseling mechanism. The agreement was signed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Unal Çevikoz and DR Congo Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba.

Noting that this visit marks the first time that a Turkish president has visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gul said he believes his visit will open a new page in bilateral relations.

Underlining that Turkey attaches great importance to relations with the Congo, Gul said Turkey’s African initiative continues. “We have a 34-year-old embassy here, and this shows how we value our relations with DR Congo,” Gul said.

Gul said he believed the Turkish businessmen accompanying him will have successful meetings with their local counterparts and that Congo has enough political will to develop economic relations with Turkey.

Stressing that Congo is awash with natural resources and needs to efficiently use them, Gul said the Congo has displayed an important transformation in the last few years. He added that they expressed decisiveness to develop bilateral relations in every sphere and exchanged views on ways to achieve that.

In his speech President Kabila said they have already decided to open an embassy in Ankara to advance their relations with Turkey. He also added that the agreement they signed with Turkey would contribute greatly to the development of relations with Turkey.

The Turkish president was expected to travel to Cameroon on Tuesday and return to Turkey on Wednesday.

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