Africa-Press – Eswatini. His Majesty the King and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to see trade between the two countries grow beyond USD 5 million (about E95 million) in the short to medium term.

It currently sits at around USD 1.3 million (E24.8 million) at current exchange rates.

This emerged during a bilateral meeting between the two leaders yesterday afternoon, shortly after the opening ceremony of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF), which is attended by heads of state and government, ministers, academics, entrepreneurs, media, youth, and delegates from numerous sectors.

The ADF seeks to find ways to better use diplomacy in the current state of affairs through an interactive and thought-provoking platform.

The President welcomed the Kingdom’s condemnation of the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey, during which about 251 people died and more than 2 200 were wounded while resisting rogue military units in the attempted overthrow of President Erdogan. The King said Eswatini stood against any unconstitutional means of usurping power and shared the importance of dialogue to resolve conflict.

He lamented the ongoing conflicts around the world, which have displaced numerous people and claimed hundreds of lives. He said that after World War II, there was hope that conflicts would be a thing of the past, but the challenge persists, which requires greater commitment from countries to ensure peace prevails globally.

On enhancing trade, the two leaders stressed the need to work towards creating closer bilateral ties that will also see support for key national development areas extended to Eswatini while encouraging investment from Turkish businessmen.

During the deliberations, His Majesty outlined several areas of possible interest, describing Eswatini as an ideal location for business penetration into the region that offers access to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), among six other regional trade blocs.

He also shared the emerging opportunities in the mining sector that have identified more mineral resources. The two leaders also touched on the possibilities in the education sector, with President Erdogan expressing support for the Maarif Education Foundation, which has shown keen interest in improving education in Eswatini.

Cooperation in other areas, such as health, aviation, and agriculture, was also discussed. He also touched on the on-going strategic oil reserve project and an intention to import gas from Mozambique. Also among the investment opportunities is the energy independence objective.

The President extended his appreciation to the King for honouring the ADF invite to Antalya, which he said was a good tourism destination that he encouraged the King to explore. He further extended an invitation for a state visit to the king.

In reciprocity, His Majesty also extended an invitation to the president, who said he had only travelled to Cape Town in the Southern African region.

World requires new rules for

Peace – Türkiye President

ANTALYA,TURKIYE: The rule-based international order has gone bankrupt and become a mere slogan says Türkiye president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He said it was time for new diplomacy driven rules for the global community that are built on solidarity, justice and trust.

The President was speaking at the opening session of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) yesterday, which was attended by His Majesty the King and Inkhosikati LaNkambule.

The United Nations Security Council was not spared by the President who said leaders of the world and their countries needed to be courageous for the truth and have a strong will to set up minimum standards for diplomacy if the world is to have a just and fair society.

He described the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict as an example of the failed international order saying what was happening in Gaza was not a war but genocide.

He further highlighted terrorism, climate change and immigration as other challenges creating conflicting across the globe that needed urgent attention though diplomacy.

The President said his country cannot afford the luxury to ignore any of the problems that are happening around the world and cannot be spectators. He said as a country assuming its responsibilities, they have to be courageous in terms of talking about the truth.

He highlighted the pressure that was being exerted upon those countries he described as loudspeakers.

He urged diplomacy to take centre stage in addressing conflict for amicable solutions.

“We need to have the will to come and agree on the minimum standards and principles. And if we can mutually understand each other, there are no obstacles that we will never be able to surmount, so long as we give a chance to diplomacy and we give a chance to discussions and not run after maximalist ideas,” he said.

President Erdogan said people cannot shake hands with fists, but have to open hands and be determined, adding that through diplomacy and dialogue it would be easier to cover distance forward and come to a certain agreement between different parties.

He further shared the transformation of the Turkuiye economy through trade defence and exports.

“Our economy grew by 5.5 per cent on an annual basis since we took over in office. Our national income grew up to USD 1.18 trillion from USD 238 billion, which is equal to five times in growth.

“In terms of purchasing parity on our national income, we are ranking 11th around the world. Our exports grew up to USD 256 billion from USD 36 billion. The tourism revenues grew up to USD 54.5 billion from USD 13 billion only.

He said the defence industry used to be one of the most strategic areas for Türkiye and have now increased their share of manufacturing share by up to 80 per cent from 20 per cent.

“On the drone technology, the Turkish success story is known on a global scale. It is appreciated and praiseworthy. Last week we launched our fifth generation combatant aircraft with its first flight versus succesful and we have reached a different phase,” the president disclosed to a round of applause.

He added that the country as opened more than 261 different missions around the world where there used to be only 163 missions.

“In terms of foreign policies, we are ranking number three in terms of the widest diplomatically area and prevalence. So our stance, our attitude, our words are being carefully followed and we are playing a role in the settlements of the disputes all around the world. We have managed to turn Turkiye into a country whose words are worthy,” he said.

He described the country as strong, resilient, conscious and contemporary actors in playing a leading role in diplomacy.

He added; “God willing, we will continue defending what is right, what is just, what is fair through increasing the number of friends on a global scale.”

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