21 June 2018

Somalia: PM Says No Deal Reached With Ethiopia On Seaports

Photo: Radio Shabelle
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed

The Somali government has not signed an official trade agreement with its neighbouring Ethiopian government, Somali Prime Minister said on Wednesday.

Following the one-day visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed to Mogadishu, there were speculations that Somali leaders handed over the country's main ports to Ethiopia, a landlocked country which lost its ports after Eritrea broke away.

Speaking to Somali Diaspora in Norway, Somali Prime minister Hassan Ali Kheire said the two countries reached a memorandum of understanding on trade cooperation.

"In recent past days, we have been receiving reports claiming that Somalia signed an agreement with Ethiopia. We did not sign a deal with Ethiopia," said Kheire, " After the visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister, we jointly issued a communiqué on creation cooperation between the two countries and to allow them (Ethiopia) to use our ports."

The PM affirmed that government will never accept any deal violating the country's sovereignty.

"The country's ports belong to Somali people, we will never allow anybody to take them, we urge the public not to be misled," the prime minister said.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed on Saturday pledged to cooperate on several issues including the development of infrastructure and expanding visa services to promote cultural exchanges.

Speaking to the media after the visit, Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed said the main objective of the meeting was to end the history of war, violence between the two nations.

"We need to forget the past, for how long we will keep on recalling our worst part of our history, let us what happened in the past and focus on the present," he noted.

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