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Turkey to boost relations with Africa

(Xinhua)

19:19, December 16, 2011

ISTANBUL, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said here on Friday that Turkey is committed to boosting its relations with African countries.

Davutoglu made the statement at the Turkey-Africa Partnership Ministerial Review Conference held in Ciragan Palace, Istanbul, Turkey's largest city. Ministers and government officials from 53 African countries attended the meeting.

Addressing participants at the opening of the conference, Davutoglu said that Turkey will open wide to all African countries by opening more diplomatic missions and launching more airline destinations in the African continent.

Calling Africans as brothers of Turkey, he said that the Turkish government will also start new phase of cooperation with Africa. "We believe that we share a common destiny with Africa. When we look at the past, we can see that Turkey and Africa had sound bilateral relations."

The number of Turkey's diplomatic missions in Africa has tripled and the number of Turkish embassies in Africa risen to 33 from 12 as of the beginning of 2009, and there will be 21 more in three years, the foreign minister said.

Meanwhile, trade volume between Turkey and Africa is expected to rise from 14 billion U.S. dollars last year to 17 billion dollars this year, he said.

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