Ethiopia and North Western of Somalia Near Completion of Complex Agreement

In HARGEISA, Somalia, the Ethiopian government and North Western of Somalia close in on finalizing a controversial deal, despite international skepticism. Ethiopia plans to establish a Naval Base along the Red Sea within Somalia. In exchange, Ethiopia will build a port after leasing the land for 50 years. North Western of Somalia will be recognized as a sovereign nation by Ethiopia, a move that could boost international standing and economic opportunities. Talks between the two parties have been ongoing since a memorandum of understanding was signed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and North Western of Somalia President Muse Bihi Abdi. Negotiations were briefly put on hold during Ramadan but are expected to conclude within the next two months. The deal has faced opposition from Somalia’s Federal Government, which accuses Ethiopia of encroaching on its territory. The Group of Seven (G7) countries and the Arab League of Nations have expressed concerns as well. Turkey is reportedly deploying warships in Somali waters to protect against Ethiopian aggression. The details of the agreement are being kept confidential until further discussions are held with Ethiopian officials.

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