Turkey and Somalia agreed on enhancing bilateral cooperation to defeat terrorism and improve security in the African nation, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre said.

“As the outcome of my visit Turkey and Somalia have agreed to have a strategic cooperation between our two countries on security, fighting terrorism, economic growth and economic development on infrastructure and businesses,” Khayre told Anadolu Agency on Friday, during his first official visit to Turkey.

“We also agreed on a project to create jobs in Somalia through investment in infrastructure and we hope that this will lead to increase business activity in the country,” he said.

Khayre underlined that Turkish contractors and investors have invested more than $350 billion in more than 118 countries, noting that only $75 million of this number go to Somalia.

The Somali prime minister said that the leaders of the two countries also agreed on the strategic business alliance and stated that the investment in Somalia will increase in the future.

During his three-day visit, Khayre on Thursday met the injured victims of the recent Mogadishu blast, who have been receiving treatment in a hospital in Ankara.

Khayre said that the health condition of some victims have improved, while there are others in critical condition.

35 injured were airlifted to Turkey for medical treatment following the Oct. 14 truck bombing, which killed at least 358 people and injured 228 others in Mogadishu.

Military training facility

“The Somali people are forever grateful to the Turkish people for their support…,” he said.

Khayre stated that the Somali government is pleased with the progress of the Turkish military training facility in Somalia.

“The training facility will contribute to the building of the Somali National Army,” he said.

“We are very happy with our cooperation with Turkey both in military and social economic cooperation. We hope, in the next year or two, more than 1,000 or 2,000 soldiers will graduate from that Military Academy,” he added.

Turkey on Sept. 30 opened its largest overseas military training academy in Somali capital Mogadishu.

The academy was inaugurated by Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar and Somali Prime Minister in a ceremony held at the training facility.

Located south of Mogadishu, the training facility had been under construction for the last two years.

The facility is spread over 4 square kilometers (1.54 square miles) and has the capacity to train more than 1,500 troops at a time, according to the Somali government.

Khayre stated that his visit to Turkey was very productive in terms of strengthening the bilateral relationship.

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