Countering rise of Turkey’s clout in Africa

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias meets with Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba. [Foreign Ministry via Intime News]

The three-day tour of West Africa completed by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Friday was deemed to have been crowned a success as countries such as Ivory Coast, Gabon and Ghana share a common understanding with Greece of what the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) stipulates.

The tour, which sought to deepen Greece's relations with this part of Africa, was also part of a wider effort to counter Turkey's growing influence in the continent.

It was no coincidence that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also recently visited five African countries.

Turkey's efforts to gain a foothold and leading role in Africa have already borne fruit, with the Economist reporting that the number of Turkish diplomatic missions on the continent has almost quadrupled in the last 10 years (from 12 to 43). Indicatively, Turkish trade with Africa has...

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