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Turkish president welcomes Ethiopian support, heralds trade deals

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu (L) shake hands after a press conference at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on February 7, 2017. ( Kayhan Özer – Anadolu Agency )

By Ilkay Guder

AA-ANKARA

Turkey and Ethiopia are determined to wipe out the “tumor” of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

“Ethiopia is our friend who sees the criminal face of FETO, which poses a great threat to humanity,” Erdogan said, referring to the group Ankara holds responsible for last July’s coup attempt in Turkey, which left 248 people martyred. “In this regard, we are taking steps within the alliance.

“I would like to express this point in particular. After the July 15 coup attempt, Ethiopia was one of the first countries to explain its support and solidarity to us.”

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara with Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, Erdogan underlined Turkey’s strategic partnership with the east African state, particularly in the economic sphere.

“Hopefully, we will begin negotiations on preferential trade agreements very soon in line with this objective,” he said.

Teshome congratulated Turkey for the courage and determination shown in defending democracy on July 15. He pledged to transfer schools linked to FETO to Turkey’s Maarif Foundation.

He heralded his meeting with Erdogan as “fruitful and productive” and said they had exchanged views on wide range of issues.

“We have recognized that additional effort is needed to further strengthen and deepen cooperation through economic interdependence by expanding trade and investments,” he told reporters.

“We discussed how to take new actions to further enhance Turkish investment in Ethiopia in much needed areas of infrastructure, manufacturing and energy.”

Calling on Turkish investors to come forward, Teshome said he wanted “Turkey to be the leading foreign investor in Ethiopia.”

Both countries were leading the fight against terrorism, he added. “We are partners in the struggle to fight terrorism, albeit in different regions,” Teshome said.


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