ANKARA (RIA Novosti): Turkey continues the course of rapprochement with Africa in all directions, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said.
“During my tenure as P-rime Minister and President (since 2002 – ed.) I have m-ade 38 visits to 28 African countries. We continue to pursue rapprochement with Africa in all areas. Thanks to our expanding diplomatic network on the continent, African countries exceeded $ 25 billion at the end of 2020. Turkey acts as a strategic partner for African countries and has never perceived cooperation with them as short-term and profitable, “Erdogan said at a press conference before the start of his African tour. which he will visit Angola, Togo and Nigeria.
According to him, Turkey “is not one of those countries that are trying to preserve the old colonial order with new methods.” He added that soon after the end of the tour, Istanbul will host the III Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum (October 21-23), as well as the III Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit (December 18).
Turkish President said that the United States offered his country to buy F-16 fighters after it was excluded from the program for the production of the latest F-35 fighters.
“We are talking about $ 1.4 billion that we paid for the F-35. the country with everything necessary for its protection. We are working to ensure that our air fleet is always ready. We are in di-alogue in order to solve this problem,” Erdogan said.
Earlier, the United States sent an official notification to Turkey about its exclusion from the production program of the latest F-35 fighters due to Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems. The United States canceled a joint memorandum for the production of the F-35, signed by Turkey in Jan-uary 2007, signing it with the seven remaining partners in the F-35 project – the UK, Italy, the Nether-lands, Australia, Denmark, Canada and Norway.
Earlier, Turkey committed itself to buy 100 F-35 aircraft. She has also been involved in the production of over 1,000 components for them. As the Minister of Industry and Technology of the Republic Mustafa Varank told RIA Novosti earlier, Turkey continues to produce these components, despite the fact that the US excluded it from this project.