Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan begins a five-day official visit to four African countries on Monday, 26 February.
According to a statement released by the president’s office, Erdogan will hold talks with his counterparts in Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal and Mali in one-on-one and inter-delegation meetings.
The leaders are expected to discuss regional and global developments, bilateral relations and cooperation.
Business forums in Algeria and Senegal will also be held as part of the visits, the statement said.
Erdogan’s visit to Algeria will be the second Turkish presidential trip to the country, while the visits to Mauritania and Mali are maiden tours.
Last December, Erdogan paid a four-day visit to Sudan, Chad and Tunisia.
Sudan and Egypt are still resolving a diplomatic row that ensued when Sudan and Turkey signed agreements over the development of the Suakin Island.
Since 2004, Erdogan has paid official visits to 24 African countries, spearheading the signings of numerous bilateral pacts to increase its influence in the continent.
Turkey now has 39 Embassies and 4 Consulate Generals in Africa, compared to only 12 Embassies in 2008. The number of African Embassies in Ankara, which was only 10 in 2008, has now reached 32. Moreover, Turkish Airlines flights, reaching more than 40 destinations in 28 African countries, are a sign of increased Turkish interest in Africa.
Adira Kallo with agency