Erdogan to raise security in DRC visit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Photo: AFP)
KINSHASA — Security and economic issues will be at the heart of the official visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who visits the  Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, the Congolese presidency said. اضافة اعلان

President Felix Tshisekedi is due to meet with his Turkish counterpart, who will be backed by "a strong delegation" of government members and businessmen from Turkey, said a press release from the Congolese presidency. 

Erdogan's African tour, from February 20 to 23, will move on to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. 

His two-day DRC trip is intended to help Ankara and Kinshasa to strengthen cooperation in the political, economic and security fields, the presidency added. 

It "follows the bilateral meetings held between the two heads of state" in September in Ankara and December in Istanbul. 

Last September, Tshisekedi paid an official visit to Ankara and then traveled to Istanbul in December where he took part in a Turkey-Africa summit. 

Relations between Ankara and Kinshasa have been good for several years and the volume of Turkish investments in the DRC continues to grow. 

Bilateral trade between the two amounts to about 40 million dollars but Turkey is seeking to strengthen its presence in Africa. Since 2003, the volume of its trade with the continent has increased from two billion dollars to at least 25 billion dollars. 

Erdogan has visited Africa nearly 40 times since 2005, as prime minister and president, since then Turkey has opened some 40 embassies on the continent. 

Turkey's influence covers the realm of defense with Ankara inaugurating its first African military base in 2017 in Somalia.

The DRC faces insecurity in its eastern region due to the presence of dozens of armed groups that regularly threaten civilians.

Military operations are underway against these groups which include the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Daesh’s branch in Central Africa blamed for thousands of killings in the eastern DRC.

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