Somali-Kenyan offshore oil dispute likely on agenda of meeting between Ethiopia premier and Somalia president
Tuesday March 5, 2019
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - The Ethiopian premier met with Somalia’s president on Tuesday to discuss regional security in the country’s capital of Addis Ababa.
"The two sides have dwelt at length on bettering relations between Somalia and Kenya," a local broadcaster FANA reported on the meeting between Abiy Ahmed and Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed.
A recent dispute between Somalia and Kenya on an offshore oil-rich area in the Indian Ocean was likely to have been a major talking point during the meeting.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had last week paid a two-day visit to Ethiopia.
Addis Ababa had underlined that its diplomatic efforts were conducted under efforts spearheaded by the Ethiopian prime minister to achieve economic integration on the continent.
In 2014, Somalia and Kenya took the issue to the UN International Court of Justice, and have since been awaiting a ruling on.
Last month, Kenya accused Somalia of offering to sell four offshore oil blocks located in the disputed area, which Somalia has denied.
Meanwhile, FANA said President Abdullahi Mohammed and Abiy Ahmed also discussed ways of strengthening relations between Somalia and the self-styled Somaliland which has lacked international recognition since it broke away in 1991.
Following independence in 1960, former British protectorate Somaliland had been part of Italian Somalia in the South in 1961.