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President Erdoğan: We are determined to purge the region from FETO tumour!

07.02.2017 1416 Okunma Sayısı

Under the auspices of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, bilateral cooperation protocols were signed between the two countries in Presidential Complex.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan convened with Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu in the Presidential Complex, in Turkey on an official visit. Following the private meeting and a meeting between the delegations, President Erdoğan and his counterpart Wirtu held a joint press conference.

After the press conference, four agreements were signed between the two countries. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu signed the agreement on behalf of Turkey, while Enstitü President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş signed a cooperation protocol between Ethiopia Addis Ababa University and Yunus Emre Enstitüsü.

Erdoğan: We are determined to purge  FETO tumour not only from Ethiopia, but also the region!

Speaking at a joint press conference held at the Presidential Complex, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "Ethiopia is one of our friends who saw the felonious face of FETO (Fetullah Terrorist Organisation) and the great threat they pose to humanity. We take the necessary steps to establish cooperation in this matter. But we are determined to purge FETO tumour not only from Ethiopia, but from other countries in the region they spread because it is a tumour.”

President Erdoğan began his speech as follows: "Today we experience the joy of hosting a special guest in Ankara. Because Ethiopian President Mister Wirtu is a close friend who served as ambassador in Turkey between 2006 and 2013. He is a true friend of Turkey. So he is a valuable friend for me since we knew each other from back than.”

Reminding that Wirtu's last visit to Turkey was to attend his presidential inaugural ceremony, Erdoğan added that he is an exceptional president who honoured the ceremony.

President Erdoğan relayed that he made his first bilateral visit to Ethiopia in Africa in January 2015 with president title, and today they met privately with President Wirtu and delegations also convened before signing four agreements.

Stating that Ethiopia with an ancient civilization, is an African country of importance and meaning for Turkey with long-standing ties of affection, Erdoğan said, "Ethiopia is the homeland of his holiness Bilal ibn Rabah who recited the first azan, the country who embraced the companions of Prophet Mohammed and home of the fair King Negus. The historical Harar city on Ethiopian territory today, remained under Ottoman rule for a period in the second half of the 19th century. Today you can still encounter Harar Turks in this city. The last consulate of the Ottoman Empire was opened in Harar in 1912. It is also meaningful in this respect. Opening Turkish Republic's first embassy in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Addis Ababa in 1926 is also a sign of the importance we have attributed to Ethiopia, which means it has a place and priority in our diplomacy."

Erdoğan emphasized that Ethiopia is one of Turkey's most important strategic partners in Africa and that they had the opportunity to discuss these issues in the bilateral talks and what can be done in the following period.

"One of the first countries to express their support for Turkey on July 15th"

Stressing that Ethiopia plays a genuinely important role with its strategic geographical position and the responsibilities it undertakes in affairs of Africa, Erdoğan said that Addis Ababa is a central point of action on the continent in the world.

Erdoğan noted that they desire Ethiopia to be Turkey's convoy in development of cooperation with the continent. President Erdoğan pointed out that in today's negotiations, he has observed they hold similar views in various topics, and continued his speech as follows:

“I have witnessed that both countries are strong willed in furthering our cooperation. I would particularly like to stress that Ethiopia is one of the first countries to express their support for and solidarity with Turkey after the coup attempt on July 15th. Because my dear friend immediately expressed his worries, and beyond that he expressed his gladness in events turning against those who staged the coup after 16-17 hours, which utterly pleased us at the same time.

“Ethiopia is one of our friends who see the felonious face of FETO, and the great threat it poses to humanity. In this regard, we take the necessary steps to join hands. We are determined to purge FETO tumour not only from Ethiopia, but also from the region because it is a tumour.”

The first short-term target is One Billion Dollars

Erdoğan said Turkey has 6 billion dollars worth investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, more than two-and-a-half billion dollars being in Ethiopia. Erdoğan stated that the bilateral trade volume is 439 million dollars, and they aim to raise this figure to 1 billion dollars in the first stage.

On the other hand, Erdoğan said he believes that Thursday's meeting in Istanbul with businessmen, would be instrumental in starting a new process, and continued as follows:

"I hope that soon we will begin negotiations for preferential trade agreements in line with this objective. I believe that we can establish partnerships based on win-win principle through models as build-operate-transfer and public-private partnership. We have serious experience particularly with regard to hydroelectric power plants. And Ethiopia has a significant potential in terms of water resources. So I think that with regard to hydroelectric power, Ethiopia may share the opportunity of having a considerable energy source with Turkish entrepreneurs and undertakers. "

"The last year was difficult for Ethiopia"

President Erdoğan, who congratulated Ethiopia that became a United Nations (UN) Security Council temporary member, stated that the last year was difficult for Ethiopia. Pointing out that due to "El Nino", Ethiopia experienced the most severe drought of the last 30 years, Erdoğan said Ethiopia managed to minimize the damage of this disaster in coordination with UN agencies and international partners.

"The colour of our tears is the same"

Emphasizing that Turkey also carries out two different humanitarian aid campaigns in regions affected by drought, Erdoğan expressed that they make efforts to relieve the troubles by using every means available.

President Erdoğan said, "We wholeheartedly believe in the following principle: no matter the colour of our eyes and face, the colour of our tears is the same. We do not pay attention to who or where a person in need is, and their ethnic or religious identity is of no importance. Because our tears are the same. We will continue to be with our African brothers especially in human-oriented development assistance. "

Erdoğan relayed that the Presidency of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) Addis Ababa Office conducts successful projects in numerous different areas such as agriculture, industry, culture, history and health, and added that the restoration of monuments such as the Negus Tomb and Ottoman Consulate in Harar will be completed and will be presented to people of Ethiopia as a sign of the friendship between the two countries.

Informing that Ethiopian students have been offered scholarships for support, Erdoğan said that around 400 Ethiopian students have benefited from the scholarships, and that in the last year they offered scholarships to 89 students, and these will continue increasingly.

Emphasizing that the last emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie dedicated his life to Africa's fraternity and freedom, Erdoğan quoted Selassie's words from the speech he made on the opening day of the African Union: "History has taught us that the greatest force is union and overcoming our differences is only possible by concentrating all our power in line with common goals.”

Erdoğan stressed that the vision determined by Haile Selassie, referred to as "the father of Africa," fifty years ago, is still valid for the continent, and underlined that in the last 50 years he has witnessed countless times that there are no obstacles which cannot be overcome as long as there is unity and solidarity.

President Erdoğan expressed that Turkey has a lot to learn from Ethiopia's deep-rooted civilization, its wisdom, its determination in the face of difficulties and its tolerance.

Recalling his visits to Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar last week, Erdoğan said he will travel to different African countries and continue his visits.

Answered Journalists' Questions

Erdoğan answered journalists' questions. Upon the question regarding how to improve Turkish investments in Ethiopia, he replied that they can support the entrepreneurs for future investments by providing loans.

Relaying that Turkish companies will be provided with opportunities by Ethiopian government, Erdoğan also pointed out that Turkey has many advantages in technology and defence industry, and that many steps can be taken in these areas with Ethiopia.

President Erdoğan stated that some steps can be taken in Ethiopia in the field of agriculture as in Somalia and that related ministers will take actions.

Erdoğan said that the process will rapidly develop following the preferential free trade agreement, and that both Turkey and Ethiopia will win by putting forth experiences and know-how.

"These are made-up claims"

A journalist asked, "The approval process for the constitutional amendment continues. Do you intend to use the period until the end? There are some speculations due to time passed as 'there are some negative survey results', or  'some objections to the Constitutional Court are expected'. What is your comment?" Erdoğan replied as follows:

"These are made-up claims. There are assessments at length by the Constitutional Commission, and the Assembly. Being the President of the Republic, I must make assessments and study these with my friends. Of course we also discuss the how and when considering the season conditions with my friends. It is not just about reading, and approving or disapproving.”

Saying "We have to evaluate every aspect of it," Erdoğan continued as follows:

"The direction we move in is apparent with the steps taken in Mersin and the steps we currently take. This is already apparent. But I say this clearly and openly that this process is very important for our country. The mentalities that especially aim to terrorize our country in this respect, are known. I believe that these will not be embraced by the nation. There is no doubt that as the president, I cannot reach a consensus or hold the same opinion with those who walk hand in hand and act in concert with the mentality that aims to terrorize the country. For this reason, the speech Mr. Bahçeli made today stroke me as a speech that was perfect in every sense.  I would like to thank him on my and the nation's behalf. Because I think that our position here is crucial.”

Reminding that the Turkish nation announced its decision to say “Yes” in Mersin for Turkey to walk steadily to a brighter future manifesting its patriotism with solidarity and confidence, President Erdoğan made the following statement: “This is now a process that probably only misses timing and we currently carry out these operations with our friends. It is all about timing. Except from that, I believe that my nation will never give a positive signal to these terrorist organisations which stood shoulder to shoulder in Kandil and İmralı; the nation will always walk with the people against these organisations who are willing to work hard for the bright future of the nation. I think we will have made our decision by the end of this week and take a step with this decision.”

WIRTU: TURKISH PEOPLE TOOK A STANCE AND PRESENTED A BOLD FRONT AGAINST THIS TERRORIST GROUP (FETO)

Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu said, "I would once again like to express Ethiopia's lasting support to the government and people of the Turkish Republic, and our support to Turkey in the fight against terrorism, be it domestic or international terrorism."

Wirtu expressed that he was very pleased to be in Ankara, and marked that he served as n ambassador for 8 years in Turkey and that being here feels like "returning home". Wirtu thanked President Erdoğan for the warmth shown to him and his delegation.

Referring to FETO's coup attempt, Wirtu spoke as follows: "I would once again like to express Ethiopia's lasting support to the government and people of the Turkish Republic, and our support to Turkey in the fight against terrorism, be it domestic or international terrorism. Turkish nation took a stance and demonstrated a great example of heroism in protecting the democracy and their beloved homeland against this terrorist group. In this sense, my government has reached the decision to turn Gülen schools over to the Maarif Foundation. "

Explaining that they discussed a number of issues of concern for both parties in their negotiations, Wirtu said they have taken several decisions to further the relationship between the two countries.

Wirtu emphasized that they have adopted a course of action to strengthen bilateral strategic relations in this context, and that the relations between the parties are historical.

Call to Turkish investors

Explaining that mutual trade investments are far behind the potential, Wirtu said that they must fill this gap.

Stating that the private sector should be given more incentives and new steps should be taken in this regard, Wirtu said, "We would like to encourage more Turkish investments in our country especially in the fields of manufacturing, energy and infrastructure. If Turkish companies plan to invest in Ethiopia, we make efforts to solve the financial problems they face.”

Explaining that a Turkish company builds a railway in his country, Wirtu invited companies from Turkish public and private sectors to Ethiopia. Wirtu noted that Turkish companies can establish industrial zones in Ethiopia.

"We are with the Turkish people"

Wirtu said that they also received development assistance from the Turkish government through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).

Reminding that they discussed the operations on making language instruction more extensive in universities of both countries, Wirtu requested increasing the number of scholarships for Ethiopian students.

Marking that they also discussed how to improve the relations between the two countries on regional and global levels, Wirtu spoke as follows: "I once again condemn the terrorist attack on the Turkish people. I expressed my condolences to Turkish President. We are with Turkish people. Even though we are in different regions, we are partners in the fight against terrorism. We struggle with terror in Africa, and Turkey struggles with it in its own region. We have an understanding that both countries will continue to fight against terrorism in every way with more resolution and strength.”

Wirtu also announced that he invited President Erdoğan to his country.