Somalia, Eritrea sign agreement to establish diplomatic ties

The presidents of Somalia and Eritrea on Monday signed an agreement to establish diplomatic ties after over a decade of animosity, in the latest fast-track rapprochement in the Horn of Africa.

“The two countries will establish diplomatic relations and exchange ambassadors,” said a “joint declaration on brotherly relations” signed in Asmara by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

President Farmajo’s three-day visit to Asmara coincides with an extraordinary peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia — part of the change in a region burdened by war, proxy conflicts, isolation and iron-fisted rule.

Once close, Somalia and Eritrea fell out over a decade ago as Asmara stood accused of backing Islamist militants on Somali soil in a proxy war with Ethiopia.

Eritrea long denied this but was stricken with UN embargoes over its alleged backing of Al-Shabaab in 2009.

“Eritrea strongly supports the political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia as well as the efforts of the people and government of Somalia to restore the country’s rightful stature and achieve the lofty aspirations of its people,” read the declaration.

The document, posted on Eritrea’s information ministry website, also said the two nations “will endeavour to forge intimate political, economic, social, and cultural as well as defence and security cooperation.”

They will in addition “work in unison to foster regional peace, stability and economic integration.”

Goobjoog News

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