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Erdogan says Somalia invited Turkey to explore for oil offshore

Turkish leader says Ankara will take steps in its operations in Somalia in line with the invitation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Somalia invited Turkey to explore for oil in its waters, private national broadcaster NTV reported.

Turkey has been a significant source of aid to Somalia following a famine in 2011. Turkish engineers have helped to build infrastructure in Somalia, businesses have invested in the country and Turkish officers have trained Somali soldiers as part of efforts to build up the country's army.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, on his flight back from a Libya summit in Berlin, Erdogan said Turkey would take steps in line with the Somali invitation, but did not elaborate further.

"There is an offer from Somalia. They are saying: 'There is oil in our seas. You are carrying out these operations with Libya, but you can also do them here.' This is very important for us," Erdogan was cited as saying by NTV.

"Therefore, there will be steps that we will take in our operations there."

In late December, a group of Turkish engineers was among those hit in a blast at a checkpoint in Mogadishu that killed at least 90 people. Last weekend, a car bombing wounded some 15 people, including Turkish contractors, in Afgoye. Read more...

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