Ethiopia and Somalia on Wednesday reached an agreement to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation on regional issues of mutual interest.
Somali President Hassan Sheik Mohamud is in Ethiopia for an official state visit. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed led a delegation to Mogadishu when Hassan Sheik was sworn in, for the second time, as president of Somalia in June 2022.
In his speech during the ceremony, Abiy Ahmed spoke about Ethiopia’s determination to work with the new Somali government on regional security and economic development issues. He passionately spoke about regional economic integration.
He reiterated it today when he met with Hassan Sheik Mohamud. The Ethiopian PM tends to think that Ethiopian development could happen when its neighbors are developing.
The visiting Somali president reportedly recognized the contributions of the Ethiopian peace-keeping force in Somalia and expressed gratitude to the people and government of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Peace Keeping Force under AMISOM has been in Somalia since 2007.
ENA, state media, cited Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, to report that the leaders from the two countries have discussed issues of cooperation on regional levels.
Security has been one of the areas of cooperation. And the leaders vowed to work together to ensure peace in the Horn of Africa.
Fighting terrorism in the region has been one of the shared goals of the two countries. Somalia has been facing security challenges from the militant Al-Shabab forces for decades now.
In July and August of this year, Al-Shabab made repeated attempts to penetrate Ethiopia, with the aim to coordinate an attack with the radical ethnic Oromo nationalist force – “Shane,” from the South Eastern part of the country.
However, Al-Shabab’s crusade against Ethiopia ended in fiasco as Ethiopian forces killed more than 800 militants. Several dozens were captured and considerable weaponry and vehicles that the militant group deployed for the operation were destroyed.
Ethiopia and Somalia do have also a trade relationship. Somalia is one of the destinations for Ethiopia’s Khat export, among other things.
There were reports of unease in the relationship between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Hassan Sheik Mohamud’s administrations due to the appointment of a former Al-Shabaab top man to a cabinet position in Somalia.
However, that does not seem to be the case as the Ethiopian government has disowned the reportage, it was aired in the state media, and later the content was deleted from the state media youtube channel.
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