Somalia 'invites Turkey' to explore for oil, Erdogan says

Somalia 'invites Turkey' to explore for oil, Erdogan says
Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said its African ally Somalia has invited Turkey to search for oil under its seas, reports confirmed on Monday.
2 min read
20 January, 2020
Erdogan made the remarks on Monday [Getty]

Somalia reportedly invited ally Turkey to explore oil in its seas, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said, according to broadcaster NTV.

The Turkish leader confirmed Ankara would take steps in line with the Somali invitation, however, fell short of providing further information.

"There is an offer from Somalia. They are saying: 'There is oil in our seas. You are carrying out these operations with Libya, but you can also do them here.' This is very important for us," Erdogan was cited as saying by NTV. "Therefore, there will be steps that we will take in our operations there."

Turkey has established a firm alliance with Somalia over the years and has invested heavily into the African country.

Somalia has received tonnes in aid from its Turkish ally, while Ankara has also provided medical care for the victims of terror attacks in the East African country.

Read more: Turkey's military involvement in Libya: Do desperate times call for desperate measures?

Somalia has praised Turkey for its prompt response to these crises.

"Whenever there is a problem, Turkey helps us. Where are the other countries?" a popular cartoon that circulated on Somali social media in the aftermath of a 2017 attack said.

Many Somalis at the time contrasted Ankara's response with that of the European Union, which has a naval force including combat ships equipped with emergency medical systems off Mogadishu's shores to deter piracy, but have not treated the victims of terror attacks.

Meanwhile, engineers from Turkey have also taken part in mass projects to rebuild roads in Somalia, while Turkish military personnel have trained Somali soldiers as part of efforts to build-up the country's army.

On Saturday, four people were killed in a car bombing in Somalia that apparently targeted Turkish engineers working on a road near the capital Mogadishu, police and witnesses said.

The attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab, which has stepped up its activities in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya in recent weeks.

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