By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Following the official visit President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud of Somalia has made for two days in Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has come up with a statement pledging to stand along the side of Somalia in defending its territorial integrity, sources said.
After Ethiopia’s announcement that it would consider recognizing Somaliland’s independence in order to gain access to the sea, Egypt’s president said last Sunday that he would not allow any threat to Somalia, Reuters reported.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s comments are the strongest that Egypt, which “has strong relations with Ethiopia”, can intervene in the new tensions in the Horn of Africa, where there are many instabilities.
Sisi, who gave a press conference together with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, said, “Egypt will not allow anyone to threaten Somalia or endanger its security.”
“Don’t challenge Egypt, or threaten its brothers, especially if they ask us to intervene,” Sisi added, according to Reuters.
Ethiopia’s agreement with Somaliland allows Ethiopia to lease 20 kilometres of coastline for 50 years and use it for commercial and military purposes. In return, Ethiopia reportedly announces that it will recognize Somaliland as an independent country. Somalia, which considers Somaliland as part of its country, opposes this agreement.
Al-Sisi said, “The message I am conveying to Ethiopia is that no one can agree to control and occupy [others’] land.”
Reuters asked Ethiopian officials for comment on the Egyptian leader’s speech, but they did not immediately respond.
Following the comments made by Egypt’s foreign minister last week that Ethiopia has become a source of instability in the region, Ethiopia’s foreign minister responded by calling the comments “absurd”.
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