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Somalia-Turkey defence agreement not related to Ethiopia tensions, says Somali Foreign Minister

Saturday March 2, 2024


MOGADISHU (HOL) — In a recent interview with Anadolu Agency, Somalia's Foreign Minister, Ali Omar Balcad, clarified that the defence and economic agreement signed between Somalia and Turkey is unrelated to the ongoing tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia. The minister emphasized the deal's focus on enhancing Somalia's maritime security and economic cooperation, independent of the issues with Ethiopia.

Balcad mentioned that Turkey, which maintains good relations with both Somalia and Ethiopia, could potentially mediate between the two nations. He highlighted the importance of the agreement in building Somalia's naval capabilities, which are crucial for protecting the nation's marine resources.

UN Security Council Lifts Arms Embargo on Somalia

In developments impacting Somalia's security, the United Nations Security Council recently lifted an arms embargo that had been in place since 1992. Foreign Minister Balcad hailed the decision, noting that it marks a significant step forward in Somalia's fight against Al-Shabaab. The embargo lifting is expected to increase military aid from international allies and provide Somali forces access to additional weaponry.

Strained Somalia-Ethiopia Relations Amid Somaliland Agreement

The relationship between Somalia and Ethiopia has been strained following an agreement Ethiopia entered with the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland. Balcad reiterated Somalia's position that it would not accept any compromise on its territorial integrity and expressed hope for Ethiopia to adhere to international laws regarding sea access.

Despite the recent tensions, Balcad expressed Somalia's desire for improved relations with Ethiopia, stressing the importance of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between the neighbouring countries.


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