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Jonathan begins 2-day state visit to Turkey today

By Daniel Idonor
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will this afternoon leave Adis Ababa, in Ethiopia, where he has been attending the 19th Session of the African Union, AU, for Turkey to begin a two-day state visit to that country.

The state visit, the first of its kind by President Jonathan to any country ever, is to enjoy the company of the First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, four State Governors including Rotimi Amaechi (River), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Patrick Yokwa (Kaduna) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), as well as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, among other ministers, who are already in Turkey.

According to a draft programme of events lined up for the Nigerian leader, the President is to be received by a senior minister of the Turkish government at the Esenboga Airport, Ankara, in a brief ceremony after which the presidential convoy would head straight to a prestigious hotel, in the country’s capital, he will spend a night.

Later in the evening, President Jonathan would play host to a cross section of the Nigerian community resident in Turkey and Cyprus, another tiny European nation, under the economic colony of Turkey.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the President after a private breakfast, would departs for Ataturk Mausoleum, reputed for its great historical enrichment, as one of the biggest church in the world then which was converted a mosque and later to a mausoleum, where tourists troop to everyday.

From there, President Jonathan will depart for the Presidential House for the main business of the visit, where he is expected to be hosted to a welcome ceremony by his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul.

Still at same venue, the Nigerian leader would be at the head of a 15-man government delegation to a bilateral talks which culminate into the signing of the historical agreement, that undoubtedly has the potential of heightening trade volume between the two D-8 member nations to over $2 billion US dollar.

The agreement sealing will be immediately followed by a joint press conference, by the heads of both delegation to formally announce the opening-up of the economies of the two countries to each other for agreed business relations.

Jonathan will leave the Presidential House, for his hotel, where he, at the head of another 11-man delegation, receive in audience, a similar size of delegation from the Turkish parliament, to be led by the President of the Turkish Great Assembly, an equivalent of the Senate President in Nigeria.

The executive-legislative session is to be preceded by a private launch by President Jonathan, afterwards he will play host to the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey for another brief round of meeting, from where both of them would depart for a guided tour of the Sinean Organised industrial zone within the city.

From here Jonathan depart for his hotel, take a rest, and later in the evening tomorrow he will proceed to the Presidential House for the second time for an official dinner to be hosted by his host, President Abdullah Gul.

Shortly after the dinner Jonathan will leave for the Esenboga Airport in Ankara, the Turkish capital and depart for the Ataturk International airport, Istanbul, the commercial capital of Turkey, where he will spend the night.

On Thursday, the last day of his stay in Turkey, Jonathan would leave his Istanbul abode to preside over a breakfast with businessmen from Turkey and Nigeria, in a hotel, and later declare open the Turkey-Nigeria Business Forum, at the same venue of the breakfast.

Before leaving Turkey in the night of Thursday for Nigeria, President Jonathan will enjoy a guided tour of the historical Blue Mosque, the Ayansofya Museum, and the Topkapi Royal Museum; have a launch at the konyali Restaurant, located within the Topkapi Royal Museum, all in Istanbul.


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