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General News of Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Two Dignitaries Received At State House

President Biya on Friday, Feb 28 and Saturday March 01, received in audience Turkish Ambassador and US Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs respectively.

It was a particularly busy week-end last week at the Unity Palace where the Head of State, President Paul Biya received two dignitaries in two separate audiences that served as avenue to deepen relations between two friendly nations; the Republic of Turkey and the United States of America.

The first audience granted Omer Faruk Dogan, Turkish Ambassador to Cameroon Friday, February 28, hinged particularly on three main areas of concern: energy, tourism and housing infrastructure. It took well over one hour for the Head of State and his guest to make an assessment of cooperation between the two countries in 2013 and project for 2014. According to Omer Faruk Dogan who spoke to reporters at the end of the audience, three main sectors; energy, tourism and housing are important for Cameroon to attain emergence.

He announced that his country has won the international call for tender to innovate the National Refinery Company (SONARA) in order to step up its output. "SONARA is an important institution for Cameroon that will be innovated soon in order to increase its output. An open international call for tender was announced and the results declared in Cameroon Tribune. We are waiting for negotiations to begin", he said.

That apart, the Turkish Ambassador equally expressed his country's concern for tourism development in Cameroon. "Tourism is equally important for Cameroon as the country sets out to renovate its hotels ", he said, stating inter alia that the year 2014 will be an interesting year for Cameroon -Turkey relations. "I think it will be the real beginning for the execution of projects of emergence", he stated. The Turkish diplomat made assurances to the fact that his country is ready to actively participate in projects related to low cost housing and road construction.

He expressed his satisfaction to reporters to learn from the Head of State that the Cameroon Embassy in Ankara will soon be opened. "Cameroonians have to understand that Turkey which is a strategic partner for Cameroon is accomplishing its engagement with Cameroon to better accompany her attain emergence", he said.

Security Issues:

The second audience granted David Gilmour, Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs on Saturday March 01, centred on regional security and economic development among others. The meeting that lasted one and half hours was occasion for the American diplomat who had worked in Cameroon before to discuss with the Head of State the situation in the Central African Republic, in Nigeria with the Boko Haram activists as well as piracy in the gulf of Guinea. "There are a lot of security issues in the entire region. Our discussion centred on how we can cooperate to deal with these issues", Gilmour to reporters. The American diplomat acknowledged the important security role Cameroon is playing in the region. "We are very pleased about its role in the MISCA in bringing peace in the Central African Republic, in welcoming a very large number of refugees and providing humanitarian access to them.", he said.

As to when a new US Ambassador will be appointed in Cameroon, he said the process is already well advanced pending the approval of the Senate. "The president has already nominated a new ambassador and this will be approved by the Senate", he said. The audience took place in the presence of Paul Atanga Nji, Permanent Secretary for the National Security Council.