President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey will continue to support Somalia against terror and other growing challenges of its own at a critical time to help bring stability and peace to the crucial African nation.
“Somalia has been going through a critical process. Restructuring a state requires a difficult road map with many obstacles,” Erdogan stated, speaking during Somali High Level Partnership Forum in Istanbul on Tuesday.
“I believe Somali federal government and regional governments will make decisions which will ensure their country’s future and protect its [long-term] interests,” he declared.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Somalia, which is located in the Horn of Africa, has lived through a brutal civil war and tried to establish its own national institutions by forming the Transitional Federal Government in 2004.
However, armed groups like Al-Shabab, which is an Al Qaeda-affiliated group, have kept fighting against the newly established government since then.
A new process has been started by Somali leaders after the militant groups ceded most of the territory they previously claimed in the country by mid-2012, establishing criteria for a new administrative system.
The country enacted a new provisional constitution in August 2012, making Somalia a federation and setting up the first persistent central government since the beginning of the civil war, followed by a reconstruction process in the capital Mogadishu.
“We should not leave them alone and keep supporting them during this process. Within this framework we have built our largest embassy in the world in Mogadishu,” Erdogan underlined.
“Somalia is the symbol of our country’s perspective towards the continent of Africa. We will continue our collaboration with Somalia until it becomes a country of peace and stability,” he stated.
Erdogan has also praised leaders of regional governments for their constructive attitude during the forum which aims to help determine the electoral system of the country.
He additionally emphasised the importance of the 2016 elections for the protection of political gains, expressing his faith in the country’s community leaders to prioritise common interests of Somalia.
He hoped that the political process of Somalia will continue all while gaining more strength and that a strong democratic understanding based on a multi-party system will prevail with all of its essential elements in the country.