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Erdogan expands warfront forming new alliances, sending message to Egypt.
The signing of a military agreement with Niger, a neighbouring country of Libya, reflects Turkey’s interest to have a foothold in a country adjacent to Libya, The New Khalij reported on Friday.
The agreement was reached during last week’s tour by the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu of Africa, as Niger was among the African countries he visited.
Çavuşoğlu met with President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, and both sides discussed the effects of the unstable security situation in Libya on their countries.
The New Khalij disclosed that Turkey, which has military agreements with Libya, does not have ground borders with it. Therefore, it expected that it would be difficult for it to deal with the issue when it comes to military confrontation with Egypt, which supports the renegade Libyan Commander Khalifa Haftar.
Consequently, The New Khalij explained that there is a possibility of a ground confrontation in light of the continuous remarks by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, who continues pledging to stop Turkish support for the UN-backed Libyan government in Tripoli.
During the visit to Niger, Çavuşoğlu expressed: “We would like to make a contribution to Niger’s development in the areas of transportation, construction, energy, mining and agriculture.”
As part of the Turkish cooperation with Africa, Anadolu Agency reported that the Turkish government has donated millions of dollars for infrastructure development on the continent and has sponsored hundreds of African students.
Turkey’s presence is felt across the continent, where there are a number of Turkish organizations, including the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Maarif Foundation and Yunus Emre Institute, among others.
Within the framework to develop the legal ground of the relations with Niger, several legal instruments have already been enacted, in the fields of health, education, communication, military, political consultations and visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passport.
Signing of the “Agreement of Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation” on 9 October 2012 has laid down the necessary foundation of the economic and trade relations between Turkey and Niger.
The bilateral trade volume was 72 million USD in 2019. Turkish exports to Niger have largely increased in the recent years. Turkey exports mainly food products, furniture, textile, metals, iron and steel products. The first session of the Joint Economic Commission, set up following the “Agreement of Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation”, was held in Ankara on 5-6 November 2014.
Niger Military Strength (2020)
The Niger Army is the land military armed forces of Niger with 5,200 personnel. Units include logistics, motorized infantry, airborne infantry, artillery and armored companies. There is a total of 10 pure motorized infantry battalions, three of which are Saharan.
It is true Niger’s armed forces only number only about 10,000. However, available for military service: 2,135,680, age: 18–49. Cleary Erdogan will tap into Niger’s civilian population for military conscription.