July 20, 2024

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Somalia: Ethiopian and Somali Foreign Ministers Meet in Türkiye to Ease Diplomatic Tensions

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Ankara — In a significant step towards reconciliation, the foreign ministers of Ethiopia and Somalia have convened in Ankara, Türkiye, to address and potentially alleviate the ongoing diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

The meeting, scheduled for today, comes in the wake of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on January 1, 2024, between Ethiopia and Somaliland, which has sparked considerable controversy and strained relations.

The Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie, and his Somali counterpart, Ambassador Ahmed Moallim Fiqi, arrived in Ankara yesterday, signaling a willingness to engage in dialogue to resolve their differences.

The Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs initially referred to the talks as a “negotiation” in a post on X, but the term was later removed, hinting at the delicate nature of the discussions.

The MoU, which grants Ethiopia a 20-kilometer naval base lease for 50 years in exchange for diplomatic recognition of Somaliland, has been a source of contention, particularly for Somalia, which does not recognize Somaliland as an independent state.

The agreement has heightened tensions between the two neighboring countries, prompting the need for diplomatic intervention.

The talks in Türkiye are expected to provide a platform for both sides to express their concerns, explore common ground, and work towards a mutually beneficial resolution.

The outcome of these discussions could have far-reaching implications for regional stability and cooperation in the Horn of Africa.

As the international community closely watches these developments, hopes are high that the meeting will pave the way for improved relations and a renewed commitment to addressing the challenges facing the region.

The success of these talks could serve as a model for peaceful conflict resolution and inspire similar efforts in other areas of tension around the world.

By Shabelle.

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