Turkish president postpones Somalia trip to attend Abdullah funeral

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Istanbul (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday postponed a planned trip to Somalia in order to attend the funeral of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, official media reported.

Erdogan is currently on a tour of Africa and was due to travel later Friday to Somalia, where Turkey is a major investor, in what was to be a rare visit by a foreign leader to the war-torn nation.

But instead he will go to the Saudi capital after completing an official visit to Ethiopia and will end the day in Djibouti, the Anatolia news agency reported citing sources within Erdogan’s entourage.

The report said Erdogan will then visit Somalia on January 25, following the Djibouti visit.

“We will carry on with our programme anyway. We will go to Djibouti and Somalia,” the source was quoted as saying by Anatolia.

Saudi King Abdullah, believed to be around 90, died overnight and will be buried later on Friday following afternoon prayers, the Saudi royal court said.

On Thursday five people were killed in a suicide attack on a hotel housing the Turkish delegation in Mogadishu. None of the dead were Turks.

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