Turkish FM: Erdogan to visit Somalia despite bomb attack

We do not cancel our programs because of terrorist attacks, says Mevlut Cavusoglu

We do not cancel our programs because of terrorist attacks, says Mevlut Cavusoglu

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - The Turkish foreign minister insisted Friday that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would visit Somalia despite a bomb exploding near a hotel in the Somali capital where a Turkish delegation was staying.

A car bomb exploded Thursday outside the presidential palace in Mogadishu near a hotel accommodating a group of Turks, leaving four dead -- including the bomber.

"We will continue our Somali program," Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa before heading to Riyadh to attend King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz's funeral. "We are against all kinds of terrorist incidents and we do not cancel our programs because of these."

The foreign minister explained that the Turkish president's visit Friday had been cancelled, not as a result of the bomb attack, but because of the death of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

The foreign minister said that Erdogan would visit Somalia on Sunday.

There were no victims among the Turkish delegation in Mogadishu, which had been preparing for Erdogan’s scheduled visit.

- Anti-ISIL conference in London

Cavusoglu joined Erdogan in Ethiopia after representing Turkey at a conference in London on Thursday where he called for a "political turnaround like in Iraq" to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

"The Assad regime is no longer legitimate," he added

Cavusoglu finally stressed that arming certain Kurdish groups in Iraq, such as the Syrian Democratic Union Party, the People’s Protection Units, or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, was a mistake.

"These terrorist groups have different aspirations -- that is to carve out a particular region in Iraq and Syria," he said.

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