News: Ethiopia, Somalia set for second round of talks in Ankara with Türkiye’s mediation

(Photo: Turkish MoFA)

Addis Abeba – Following the conclusion of a meeting in the Turkish capital on 01 July, the foreign ministers of Ethiopia and Somalia are scheduled to engage in a second round of talks in Ankara on 02 September, 2024, according to a joint statement released yesterday.

According to the joint statement, the ministers engaged in “candid and forward-looking exchanges concerning their differences, with Türkiye acting as a mediator.”

The statement noted that the Somali and Ethiopian foreign ministers reiterated their commitment to resolving their issues peacefully and expressed appreciation for Türkiye’s facilitation efforts and constructive contributions.

The ministers agreed to pursue ongoing dialogue to resolve their differences and ensure regional stability in the region.

A second round of discussions between the ministers has been scheduled for 02 September, 2024, in Ankara. Both parties expressed gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for this initiative.

Following the recent meeting, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stated that there was no indication that Ethiopia was walking back from the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with Somaliland. “There are no indications so far that they [Ethiopia] are turning back from that path.”

The president said this on Monday evening after the talks concluded without a breakthrough. He added that it was Ethiopia that requested Turkey to mediate between the countries, and the delegations did not hold direct talks, with Turkey acting as an intermediary.

In a separate statement, the Somali government said the meetings were not face-to-face, as Somalia maintained a firm stance on safeguarding its national unity and sovereignty.

While both delegations participated in a joint communiqué proposed by the Turkish mediator, the Somali government revealed significant differences in perspectives that persisted.

Somalia insisted that Ethiopia should rescind the MoU and maintained there could be no negotiation over the protection of Somalia’s territorial integrity.

Tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia have been high following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 01 January, 2024. The agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland aims to grant Ethiopia a 20-kilometer naval base lease for 50 years in exchange for diplomatic recognition. AS

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