The new Turkish Embassy building in Senegal will take ties between the countries “one step further,” said the Turkish president on Tuesday.
Inaugurating the new embassy building in the capital Dakar on an official visit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “Our relations with Senegal, which is a key country in the region, are at an excellent level.”
He said the original embassy, dating back to the 1960s, was one of Turkiye’s first in Africa.
“The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) opened its first office in West Africa in Dakar in 2007,” he added.
With the opening of the new building, Erdogan said: “Today, we take our strong historical, cultural and human ties one step further.”
“I hope the new building of our Dakar embassy will be beneficial to our country, our nation, and the people of Senegal.”
Adding that he will also attend the opening ceremony of the Dakar Olympic Stadium built by a Turkish firm, Erdogan said: “I am pleased that Turkish companies support the infrastructure and development of Senegal, especially the construction sector.”
More embassies in Africa
The Turkish Maarif Foundation has so far provided education to nearly 800 students in Senegal, said Erdogan.
“I believe these beautiful children will have important roles in the future of Senegal,” he said.
The group assumed control of Senegalese schools once run by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group responsible for a failed 2016 coup in Turkiye.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Turkiye has provided Turkish missions abroad with “exemplary buildings worthy of our country’s reputation, thus increasing the quality of the service we provide to our citizens.”
He added: “In the last 20 years, the number of our embassies (in Africa) has risen from 12 to 43. Our aim is to increase it to 50.”
Erdogan is in Senegal for the second stop of his four-day official visit to Africa, also including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea-Bissau.