Bilateral ties dominate Afwerki's meeting with Hassan Sheikh


ASMARA, Eritrea - President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud returned to Asmara for the sixth time in as many months as Somalia strikes economic and trade-enhancing deals with Eritrea, a country with shared prosperity and culture within the Horn of Africa region.

Hassan Sheikh has tremendously revised Somalia’s foreign policy, making Eritrea one of the strategic partners in trade and military cooperation within the last 19 months. Somalia is at loggerheads with Ethiopia.

According to Yemane Meskel, Eritrea's minister for information, Hassan Sheikh and President Isaias Afwerki discussed bilateral and multilateral ties and other issues of mutual interest as the two nations forge formidable cooperation.

"The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, arrived in Asmara for a working visit at mid-day today. The Somali President and his delegation were accorded warm welcome by President Isaias Afwerki on arrival at Asmara International Airport," he said upon the arrival of Hassan Sheikh.

"The two Presidents will discuss enhancement of bilateral ties as well as multilateral issues of mutual importance at their Summit later this evening," added Yemane Meskel, a close ally of President Afwerki who has been in power for three decades.

Somalia has lately been training troops in Eritrea, with thousands already having been commissioned. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud attended the most recent pass-out parade of thousands of recruits who trained in Eritrea.

The Eritrean government had pledged to engage in Somalia’s rebuilding process, training thousands of soldiers in the process. The soldiers are expected to take over security responsibilities from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) which has started the withdrawal process.

By December 2024, most of the ATMIS troops will leave the country as local troops take over the command. The al-Shabaab militants have been fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia for the last two decades, necessitating external military support.


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