Somaliland vehemently opposes Turkish naval activities during negotiations over Ethiopian maritime agreement

During an interview with BBC Somali, Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Essa Kayd Mohamud, discussed the autonomous control of Somaliland’s waters, making a clear distinction from Somalia’s authority. Mohamud informed Turkey that access to Somaliland’s shores is restricted, asserting the independent management of its maritime borders. Emphasizing Somaliland’s stance, Mohamud expressed positivity regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ethiopia, dispelling concerns about its impact. He anticipates a smooth implementation of the agreement that will bring mutual benefits. The foreign minister also mentioned an upcoming deal with Ethiopia, which involves leasing 20 kilometers of Somaliland’s coastline to Ethiopia. This agreement is expected to bring economic advantages and could potentially pave the way for international recognition of Somaliland as a separate entity. However, recent statements from Ethiopian officials suggest that no formal recognition of Somaliland is guaranteed, as Ethiopia upholds Somalia’s territorial integrity according to international law. Meanwhile, Somalia has strengthened its naval capabilities through a recent agreement with Turkey, enabling the construction, training, and equipping of the Somali navy. This agreement, part of a broader Defense and Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, was widely supported by Somalia’s legislative bodies. The main goal is to boost national security along Africa’s extensive coastline and address regional maritime challenges. Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre clarified that the pact is intended to combat issues like piracy and illegal fishing, not to incite conflicts in the region. The collaboration between Turkey and Somalia has also paved the way for future offshore oil drilling projects, set to commence in 2025, solidifying Turkish interests in Somalian maritime resources.

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