President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey has commended the government of Uganda for its role in finding solutions to conflicts in the region including Burundi, South Sudan and in Somalia under the African Unions Mission in Somalia and said Uganda action has brought has brought peace.
President Erdogan was speaking at a joint press conference held with his host President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Entebbe.
President Erdogan was on a 2-day official to Uganda at the invitation of President Museveni.
“If you can chew a piece of meat, it means your teeth are strong. Somalia has become a different nation from what it was 5 to 6 years ago,” he said.
The Turkish Head of State noted that although the European Union (EU) has taken a decision to reduce funding to AMISOM, Turkey will continue to support the efforts to ensure peace in Somalia.
“I do not find it a right move that the EU has restrained the budget to Somalia. It will be a big mistake to leave a country that is still fighting terrorism,” he said.
President Erdogan also called upon the United Nations Security Council permanent members to admit an African and Muslim country to the Council.
“The 5 most powerful nations who are the Permanent Members of the Security Council, determine the fate of the world but have no representation from African countries or country whose population is predominantly Muslim,” he said.
Host President Yoweri Museveni said that Uganda’s concern in Somalia is not funding by the Security Council as many of Africa’s problems have been solved without the EU and United Nations.
“We defeated Idi Amin. Where was the EU and U.N.? Our concern is for the people of Somalia to develop an ideology, their state and government institutions,” he said.
President Museveni thanked the Turkish government for respecting the sovereignty of other countries.
“Turkey’s foreign policy supports sovereignty of all countries. Turkey does not like to be dominated just like Uganda does not want lectures from other people,” he said.
During President Erdogans visit at State House, Entebbe, Uganda and Turkey signed three agreements and three Memoranda of Understanding to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
1. An Agreement on mutual visa expansion for diplomatic holders
2. An Agreement on cooperation in tourism.
3. An Agreement on defence industry cooperation.
4. Memorandum of Understanding on military cooperation.
5. Memorandum of Understanding on hydrocarbon, mining and minerals
6. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in higher education.
Speaking at the function, President Museveni noted that by signing the stipulated Agreements, Uganda would be enabled to gain prosperity.
“The potential between Uganda and Turkey is very huge. This potential cannot be realized if we do not meet and agree,” he said.
He further explained that prosperity can only be achieved if the two countries do business together namely investments, trade, tourism and solidarity.
“The relationship between Uganda and Turkey is essential for our prosperity. Turkey was once called the “Sick Man of Europe”, but is now an engine of economic growth and development,” he said.
In response, President Erdogan pledged that Turkey would share with Uganda its experience in infrastructure development.