Somali president hails Turkish efforts for better life in Somalia
During his first official visit to Turkey, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud expressed his gratitude to the Turkish government and the nation for their support, aid and instilling hope in Somalis.

Mohamud, president since Sept. 10, was invited to Turkey by his counterpart, President Abdullah Gül, and arrived on Tuesday. He is expected to stay for four days. A five-member delegation accompanied him: four ministers of the Somali federal government and Chief of General Staff Maj. Gen. Abdul Qadir Sheikh Ali Dini.

The two leaders spoke at a press conference after their closed meeting at the Çankaya presidential palace on Wednesday. Mohamud said Somalia will become a country that offers better lives to its citizens. "To this end, the Turkish nation and its government have given us much hope and support and I thank them for that."

He also touched on Turkey's efforts to urge other countries to extend help to Somalia. "The Turkish Republic's prime minister and his family came and visited Somalia when it was a country no one wanted to go to. This was a very important act because it gave us energy, confidence and hope. This visit also gave a message to the rest of the world, reminding them that Somalis have brothers and sisters in other countries."

Mohamud also mentioned hundreds of Somali students receiving an education in Turkey through scholarship programs. This is an investment in Somalia's human resources made at the right time. These people might someday become the leaders of the country," he noted.

President Gül said Turkey wants to show to the international community how a country can help another out of humanitarian concerns, not because it is in its own interests. "We are doing this in the best possible way," he noted. Gül also praised the Federal Parliament of Somalia, formed in August. He said the fact that female representatives constitute 30 percent of parliament and that two of the government's 10 ministers are women indicates how developed Somalia now is.

Prior to his visit to Çankaya, Mohamud visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, laid a wreath there and wrote in the official guestbook.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-12-05 20:00:02
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