Somali, Turkish presidents meet in New York

MOGADISHU, Somalia – The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Deyip Erdogan on the sideline of UN General Assembly in New York.

Mr. Mohamed and Erdogan held talks, discussing bilateral relations and ways to strengthen the relation between Ankara and Mogadishu.

“We remain committed to strengthening our Somali-Turkish bond of brotherhood which has always stood the test of time.”, president Mohamed said.

Somalia and Turkey enjoyed close relations since 2011 when President Erdogan made a historic visit to Mogadishu in the midst of a famine in parts of the country.

Turkey has a largest military base in Africa in the capital, Mogadishu where its senior military official train country army forces in fighting against Al Shabaab.

Al Shabaab, an al Qaeda linked group, which carried out similar attacks, leaving dozens dead for the past months.

The group was pushed out of Mogadishu capital in 2011 by Somali army troops and 22,000-strong African Union force in Somalia.

The rebel group also lost most of their strongholds, but it still controls large rural areas and remains the key threat to peace in Somalia.

The group has been fighting over ten years to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Somalia.

Abdi Aziz Hassan Ibrahim is , a somali veteran journalist based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Twitter @mareegonline Email: