Today from Hiiraan Online:
Somali President makes first official visit to Ethiopia
Wednesday September 28, 2022
Addis Ababa (HOL) - A delegation led by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived on Wednesday in Ethiopia for a two-day official visit.
President Mohamud and his delegation were received at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, and his Cabinet members.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed thanked the Somali President for accepting his invitation.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his delegation held bilateral talks with the Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed and his Cabinet members.
The two leaders expressed their commitment to strengthening the relations between Somalia and Ethiopia, prioritizing the development and stability of the Horn of Africa region, and continuing fruitful cooperation in various fields between the two neighbouring peoples.
President Mohamud highlighted the similarities in the two countries' circumstances, including drought and security, while outlining the Federal Republic of Somalia's vision of "Somalia at Peace with itself and the world."
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed emphasized that Ethiopia is ready to strengthen cooperation with Somalia. Ahmed focused on economic growth and stability, stressing Somalia's importance to regional stability.
Members of Somalia’s delegation had a joint meeting with their Ethiopian counterparts.
Abiy Ahmed and Ethiopia enjoyed close ties with the previous Farmajo government in Somalia. The two leaders signed a tripartite agreement with Eritrea’s Isais Afwerki in September 2018.
However, since Mohamud came to power, analysts say the relationship has faltered.
Despite visiting every neighbouring state, Wednesday’s visit marks the first official state visit to Ethiopia since his election in mid-May.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud made an official state visit to Egypt in July, less than two months after he was announced the new President of Somalia. During his Cairo visit, Mohamud discussed regional issues with Egyptian strongman President el-Sisi.
During a press conference following their meeting in Cairo, Sisi said that he and Mohamud were concerned about Ethiopia’s dangerous unilateral policy while constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile.
Days later, the Spokesman for Villa Somalia, Abdikarin Ali Kaar, denied that the Presidents of Egypt and Somalia shared an official joint position on the construction and filling of the GERD.
Ethiopian authorities have reacted to the perceived cold shoulder by bypassing Mogadishu to engage with regional states.
Ethiopia is one of the five ATMIS troop-contributing countries, alongside Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda.
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