Addis Ababa(Mogadishu24)-The Breakaway Republic of Somaliland and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday, giving Ethiopia access to the sea and diversify its access to seaports.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi who is on an official visit to Ethiopia since Sunday.

A statement from the Office Ethiopia’s Prime Minister stated that the memorandum of understanding will serve as a framework for multi-sectoral cooperation between the two parties.

“The memorandum of understanding for partnership and cooperation, between the federal democratic republic of Ethiopia and Somaliland, is intended to serve as a framework for multi-sectoral cooperation between the two sides,” the statement reads.

It added, “The memorandum of understanding shall pave the way to realize the aspirations of Ethiopia to secure access to the sea and diversify its access to seaports.”

The MOU further is aimed at fostering the security, economic, political and diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

“It also strengthens their security, economic and political partnership. Furthermore, the memorandum of understanding also indicates the pathway to bolster their political and diplomatic relations,” the statement read in part.

The two sides reiterated their commitment to advancing mutual interests through cooperation on the basis of reciprocity with this MOU being a start of a fresh between the two sides.

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia highlighted the strategic importance of the MoU in enhancing its role in regional peace and stability.

This comes after years of efforts from the Ethiopian government seeking access to the sea through multiple countries, including Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea.

In November , Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated that Ethiopia will seek access to seawater by any means.

“If we don’t talk about the Red Sea issues, we will as much not talk about wheat, green legacy, tax collection…[if we have accomplished all these] and lose it due to [not discussing] the Red Sea, it’s meaningless. So let’s discuss it,” said Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister.

Following the statement, the Eritrean government announced the suspension of official maritime bilateral talks to grant landlocked Ethiopia access to the sea.

“In the event, the Government of Eritrea repeatedly reiterates that it will not, as ever, be drawn into such alleys and platforms. The Government of Eritrea further urges all concerned not to be provoked by these events,” the statement from Eritrea’s Ministry of Information read.

Leaders from the Federal government of Somalia and Somaliland Administration also collectively opposed Ethiopia’s claim to access the sea through any means and their claims of having controlled Saylac during the pre-colonial period.

The leaders urged Ethiopia to seek access through peaceful and diplomatic negotiations.

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