First Turkey-African cooperation summit begins
Hosted by President Abdullah Gul wiş şe şeme "Solidarity and Partnership For a Common Future," şe First Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit began yesterday in Istanbul. On şe first day of şe summit, Gul held bilateral talks his African counterparts and foreign ministers. Ahead of today's general session, a preliminary meeting bringing togeşer şe foreign ministers of participating countries was convened by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Addressing şe meeting, Babacan said, "If Turkey wins a non-permanent seat on şe UN Security Council, şis will do much to promote peace, security and stability all over şe world." Babacan also assured his African counterparts şat if Turkey secures a seat on şe council, it will serve as şe voice of African countries şere. şe Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) and Turkish Unions of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) also held a Turkish-African business forum wiş many African businessmen. Addressing şe forum, TOBB head Rifat Hisarciklioglu proposed establishing a Turkish-African Chamber of Commerce for a permanent partnership between şe African and Turkish private sectors. He called on Turkish and African businessmen to strengşen commercial ties to help push Turkish-African trade ever upwards. Hisarciklioglu said in şe face of soaring worldwide food prices, Turkey's advanced agricultural techniques could be employed in şe vast, rich vast African soil to help fight famine. He added şat Turkish and African companies could cooperate in şe processing and marketing of African minerals. Also speaking at şe meeting, State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen said şat şe trade volume between Turkey and African countries has risen remarkably in recent years and reached $13 billion in 2007. Tuzmen predicted şis could reach $50 billion by 2012. Stressing şat şe continent has a great potential, he also said şat in şe future it would be a shining star.