World Bulletin/News Desk
Africa deserves two permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council, which would give the continent the right to veto draft resolutions, Equatorial Guinea's foreign minister, Agapito Mba Mokuy, has said.
"The time has come that together we tell the international community that Africa has the right to have two permanent seats in the Security Council with a veto right," Mokuy said at the opening of the ministerial meeting of an Africa-Turkey summit currently taking place in Equatorial Guinea.
"Of course, some nations want Africa to believe that this is not possible," he added. "We tell them no."
"We believe that, yes, we can – and soon will – exercise our rights at the United Nations, including the Security Council," Mokuy asserted.
The Africa-Turkey summit kicked off Wednesday in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, with a technical meeting. The event is expected to wrap up on Friday with a meeting of heads of state and government.
"In today's globalized world, the less that divides us is much less than the more that unites Africa and Turkey," Mokuy declared at the summit.
"We should therefore unite forces, share common vision and utilize a common approach to solving common problems for the development of our people," he said.
"It is time that we stand together, walk together and win together," he added.
For his part, Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairman of the African Union Commission, seconded Mokuy's argument regarding Africa's right to a permanent council seat.
"Africa must have a permanent seat, if not more, in the United Nations Security Council," Mwencha asserted.
At the Thursday meeting, ministers are expected to consider a "Joint Implementation Plan of Africa-Turkey Partnership 2015-2018," which lays out key areas of cooperation.
The meeting is expected to look into proposed key priority projects to be implemented as part of the partnership plan before submitting the document for endorsement by assembled heads of state and government on Friday.
Seven short-term projects have already been proposed by the African side.
The three-day summit – which has prompted the first-ever visit to Equatorial Guinea by a Turkish president – has drawn 200 business leaders and a delegation led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and including Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in addition to leaders from several African countries.
Mauritania – current African Union chair – and Ethiopia – the union's outgoing chair – are both attending this year's summit, along with Algeria, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Libya, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt.
Thirty-two other African countries are attending the event as observers.
Most invited countries are being represented at the event by their respective heads of state.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, however, is not expected to attend the summit.
A joint declaration and action plan for Turkish-African partnership for the period from 2015 to 2018 is expected to be approved at the summit.
The plan calls for stepped-up bilateral cooperation in the fields of industry, education, health, trade, energy, investment, and peace and security.
The African Union declared Turkey a "strategic partner" in 2008. An Africa-Turkey summit was held the same year in Istanbul.
A third Africa-Turkey summit is scheduled to be held in Turkey in 2018.
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