Erdogan says Turkey, Ivory Coast willing to boost ties


-Turkish head of state attends Turkey-Ivory Coast Business Forum before going on to Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – Turkey and the Ivory Coast have reached new agreements in the fields of defense, health and information technologies, Turkey’s president has said during a visit to the West African country.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Ivorian Coast counterpart Alassane Ouattara held a joint news conference on Monday after bilateral meetings in country’s capital, Abidjan.

Erdogan said that in the Ivory Coast, he felt like he was in his second home.

“I am happy because I am the first Turkish president to visit Ivory Coast officially,” Erdogan said.

Turkey continues its humanitarian aid commitment to the Ivory Coast through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Red Crescent.

“Turkey has provided higher education scholarships for 66 Ivorian Coast students and that number may be increased,” Erdogan said.

“The trade volume between Turkey and Ivory Coast was $330 million last year. It will amount to $390 in 2016. Our goal is to increase it up to $1 billion by 2020,” Erdogan added.

President Ouattara also expressed his appreciation for Erdogan’s visit.

“This visit shows a stronger relationship between the two countries,” he said.