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Eritrea 'voices support for Somalia' amid Ethiopia row


Thursday January 11, 2024

Somalia's president says his Eritrean counterpart has declared support “for Somalia’s sovereignty” amid tensions with Ethiopia over a controversial sea access deal.

Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki voiced this stance in a meeting with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud yesterday, state-run Somali National News Agency reported.

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The Somali leader also made comments to the same effect to the Eritrean press, but there was no official statement on the issue by Mr Afwerki's government.

Mr Mohamud, who was on a two-day visit to the Eritrean capital Asmara, said he had briefed Mr Afwerki on the current sea access row.

Tensions were sparked at the beginning of last week after Ethiopia signed a deal with the self-declared republic of Somaliland.

The agreement would give Ethiopia commercial and military access to a port in the breakaway region.

Somalia called the deal an act of aggression - it considers Somaliland a part of its territory and has vowed to defend its sovereignty.

Somaliland is not recognised as an independent nation by any other country or major global organisation.

Before travelling to Asmara, President Mohamud said his government "will seek the support of any ally willing to help us".

Somali state media reported that Mr Mohamud will also travel to Cairo "soon" after receiving an invite from his Egyptian counterpart, Abddul Fattah al-Sisi.



 





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