Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh has arrived in the country following President Mohamed Farmaajo’s historic visit to the Red Sea nation as both countries announced restoration of diplomatic relations.
Saleh, accompanied by his country’s presidential advisor Yemane Gabraeb was received by Prime Minister Hassan Khaire at Aden Adde Airport in Mogadishu.
The Office of the Prime Minister said the visit by the Eritrean government officials ‘follows President Farmaajo’s recent visit to Asmara. “Regional cooperation for stability and economic progress is crucial for common prosperity of the Horn,” the OPM said in a tweet.
Sources said Saleh’s arrival in Mogadishu is in preparation for President Isaias Afwerki’s visit to Somalia.
The two countries have not had diplomatic relations for nearly 15 years following accusations that Eritrea supported the militant group Al-Shabaab in Somalia. But during a visit July 28, leaders of both countries declared an end to differences between the two countries and announced to fully restore relations including exchanging ambassadors.
“The agreement between Eritrea and Somalia puts an end to the distorted regional order of enmity and competition, and opens a new horizon for sustainable peace and economic integration. It will strengthen the sub-regional conflict prevention and resolution mechanism,” a statement from the meeting read in part.
But the call by Farmaajo on the UN to lift sanctions against Eritrea sparked sharp criticism from Djibouti which termed support for Eritrea as ‘unacceptable’.
“As a sovereign state, there is no doubt that Somali has the right to establish diplomatic relations with the countries if the region, however it is unacceptable to see our brotherly Somalia supporting Eritrea which occupying (sic) part of our territory and still denying having Djiboutian prisoners,” a statement from the Djibouti embassy in Mogadishu read in part.