Wednesday, July 10, 2013

► ERITREA: Turkish Airlines set to start Asmara flights "soon" following the end of bilateral talks.

Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines (TK) is set to make Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, its next destination in its growing Horn of Africa network following recent talks between the Eritrean government and a Turkish business delegation which delved into issues pertaining to Ethiopia and Eritrea; developments in the Horn of Africa, as well as bilateral relations between Turkey and Eritrea.

Downtown Asmara
According to Eritrea's TesfaNews, the announcement of the launch of flights was made by Turkey's first Ambassador to Eritrea, Mr Fazil Corman, who was in the country leading a Turkish delegation comprised of Dr. Mehmet Yilmaz, deputy director of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, and Mr. Sadik Yildiz, a representative of  the Turkish Business Community.
Turkish Air Lines has decided to begin direct flight to Asmara, and that such a move would upgrade the relations of bilateral cooperation,” said Ambassador Corman.
The delegation held an audience with Eritrean strongman, Isaias Afwerki, who "asserted his country’s readiness to develop mutual cooperation with Turkey in the sphere of trade and investment in marine transport as well as aviation."

Turkey is currently at the forefront of re-engaging the Horn of Africa's largely neglected states - Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia - in particular Somalia where it is currently facilitating dialogue between Mogadishu and the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland.

The Turkish carrier serves Khartoum, Mogadishu, Addis Ababa and Djibouti and according to a purportedly leaked document, had intended to launch Asmara flights on July 3.