MOGADISHU, Somalia, Jan 25 – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday vowed to boost already large investments as he visited Somalia, a strategic ally offering lucrative rewards for those willing to work in the war-torn nation.
Erdogan, on a rare visit by a foreign leader to a capital hit by frequent insurgent attacks, praised the “major developments” seen in Somalia and promised to deliver more.
He was welcomed at Mogadishu’s new Turkish-renovated airport by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Turkey is a major donor to and investor in Somalia, carrying out a series of large-scale construction projects in a city devastated by more than two decades of war, and now undergoing a major building boom.
Erdogan, who was accompanied by his wife and daughter, made the one day visit under tight security.
Hundreds of soldiers and police officers shut down much of the capital’s streets, where five people were killed Thursday in a suicide attack on a hotel housing the Turkish delegation in Mogadishu. READ: Turkish president postpones Somalia trip to attend Abdullah funeral
Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab rebels – who are fighting to overthrow the country’s internationally-backed government – said they carried out the bombing, the latest in a string of attacks by the group against high-profile targets in Mogadishu.
Erdogan later visited a hospital and mosque built with Turkish support.