Gul receives Somalian counterpart
President Abdullah Gul yesterday welcomed President Sheikh Hasan Mohamud of Somalia, who is paying an official visit to Turkey at the invitation of Gul, in a ceremony at Cankaya Presidential Palace. Mohamud, who was elected president in September, is paying his first foreign state visit to Turkey. The two leaders had a tete-a-tete and chaired the delegational talks and held a joint press conference, during which Gul shared his happiness to welcome Mohamud. Stating that Turkey will lobby for the formation of an international fund to establish security forces for Somalia, Gul pledged Turkey's assistance on the issue both logistically and in regards to the training of the forces. "We proposed to the international community the establishment of a fund to this end. We will work toward this during a donors' meeting to be held in Istanbul in 2013," Gul said. Touching on Turkey's efforts to urge other countries to extend help to Somalia, Gul said, "The Turkish Republic's prime minister and his family came and visited Somalia when it was a country no one wanted to go to. This was a very important act because it gave us energy, confidence and hope. This visit also gave a message to the rest of the world, reminding them that Somalis have brothers and sisters in other countries." For his part, Mohamud said that his country came into a changing process after a long uncertainty and thanked Turkey for giving support and boosting hope during those times. Mohamud added that Turkey's helping hand during the "darkest times" also encouraged the international community to help. Mohamud also mentioned hundreds of Somali students receiving an education in Turkey through scholarship programs. "This is an investment in Somalia's human resources made at the right time. These people might someday become the leaders of the country," Mohamud noted.