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Turkish chief of General Staff arrives in Mogadishu

Storyline:National News, Security

The head of the Turkish military arrived in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Friday, military officials said.

Gen. Hulusi Akar was received by the commander of the Somali armed forces, Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Jim’ale, at Adan Abdulle international airport in Mogadishu.

Abdullahi Iman, spokesman for Somalia’s Defense Ministry, told Anadolu Agency by phone that Akar arrived in the Horn of Africa nation on Friday under tight security and was received by his counterpart.

He added that Akar’s visit is to attend the opening ceremony of a Turkish military training facility in Mogadishu, which is due to open tomorrow.

He gave no further details of the visit, but Akar is expected to meet Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, as well as the prime minister, said senior Somali government officials, asking not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Senior Turkish government officials are expected to arrive in Mogadishu to participate in the opening ceremony on Saturday.

The facility — Turkey’s largest overseas military base — is spread out over 4 square kilometers (1.54 square miles).

The base has the capacity to train more than 1,500 troops at a time, according to the Somali government.

Anadolu Agency