DAKAR: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has inaugurated the new Embassy building in Senegal during an official visit to the country.
With the opening of the new building in the capital Dakar Erdogan said: “Today, we take our strong historical, cultural and human ties one step further.”
“I hope the new building of our Dakar embassy will be beneficial to our country, our nation, and the people of Senegal.”
Inaugurating the new embassy building, Erdogan added, “Our relations with Senegal, which is a key country in the region, are at an excellent level.” While in Senegal, he will also attend the opening ceremony of the Dakar Olympic Stadium built by a Turkish firm.
“I am pleased that Turkish companies support the infrastructure and development of Senegal, especially the construction sector,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan is in Senegal for the second stop of his four-day official visit to Africa, which began in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Turkish president’s visit to Guinea-Bissau, the third stop of his African tour, was postponed to a later date, as he will be returning home early to participate in an online meeting with NATO leaders over Russia’s recognition of two Ukraine breakaway regions, the country’s Communications Directorate said in a statement.
During the ceremony, President Erdogan noted that the original embassy, dating back to the 1960s, was one of Turkey’s first in Africa.
“The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) opened its first office in West Africa in Dakar in 2007,” he added.
The Turkish Maarif Foundation has also so far provided education to nearly 800 students in Senegal, said Erdogan.
“I believe these beautiful children will have important roles in the future of Senegal,” he added.
The foundation assumed control of Senegalese schools once run by the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO), the group responsible for a failed 2016 coup in Turkey.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Turkey has provided Turkish missions abroad with “exemplary buildings worthy of our country’s reputation, thus increasing the quality of the service we provide to our citizens.” He added: “In the last 20 years, the number of our embassies (in Africa) has risen from 12 to 43. Our aim is to increase it to 50.”