Ethiopia-Somalia talks in Turkey concluded before they began - President


MOGADISHU, Somalia - President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud maintains that the recent talks between Ethiopia and Somalia over the controversial agreement 'ended before they began', noting that Ethiopia remains non-committal to embracing dialogue.  

Ethiopia,  he said, has employed "delay tactics" despite looking for Somalia for dialogue. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Ethiopia's rigid approach to the matter could further fuel tensions in the Horn of Africa region.  
Last week,  Turkey mediated talks between Ethiopia and Somalia but there was no substantive output forcing the two countries to postpone the dialogue to September 2024, with Turkey offering to continue with the mediation talks. 
"The Ankara talks were concluded before they even began," he said, accusing Ethiopia of causing the breakdown due to its rigid stance. He noted that previous mediation attempts in Nairobi had also failed due to Ethiopia's inflexibility.
"Ethiopia is not ready to resolve diplomatic issues through dialogue," he added while accusing Addis Ababa of a plot to annex parts of Somalia, a sovereign country, which is actively involved in the fight against Al-Shabaab.  
 On Thursday, 04 July, addressing Ethiopia's House of People's Representatives, Prime Minister Abiy said, "Don't waste money" going around countries to accuse Ethiopia. He added, "It is very simple because we have no fight with the Somali government," but instead, the Somali government "chose to go around and accuse us."
President Mohamud contested this claim, asserting, "As a neighboring country, Ethiopia does not engage us to solve current issues cooperatively." He added, "They wander around asking for mediation."
The current tensions stem from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 01 January 2024, between Ethiopia and Somaliland. The agreement aims to grant Ethiopia a 20-kilometer naval base lease for 50 years in exchange for diplomatic recognition, Addis Standard reports.

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