Ankara(Mogadishu24)-In a significant diplomatic effort facilitated by Turkey, Somalia and Ethiopia have engaged in constructive talks aimed at resolving their differences. The discussions took place in Ankara, with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Taye Atske Selassie, and Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Moalim Fiqi leading their respective delegations.

Commitment to Peace and Diplomacy

Minister Hakan Fidan opened the press conference by highlighting Turkey’s longstanding relationships and extensive cooperation with both Ethiopia and Somalia.

“Today, I am pleased to be here before you with counterparts from Ethiopia and Somalia, my brothers, Taye Atske Selassie and Ahmed Moalim Fiqi. Our commitment to peace and diplomacy drives us to establish common ground where possible,” said Minister Fidan. “We found ourselves in a privileged position with strong confidence and mandate. Both sides praised President Erdogan for strengthening our belief that we are on the right path.”

Key Issues and Progress

During the talks, the delegations from Somalia and Ethiopia elaborated on various discussion points, with a focus on the complicated nature of maritime issues. The dialogue addressed the memorandum of understanding between the breakaway republic of Somaliland and Ethiopia, which Somalia has firmly opposed, citing concerns over its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“It is no secret that due to the complicated nature of maritime issues, we will need further reflections. However, in light of what we heard today, we remain hopeful for the future,” added Minister Fidan.

Future Meetings and Continued Dialogue

Both ministers reiterated their commitment to a peaceful resolution of their differences and expressed appreciation for Turkey’s facilitation and constructive contributions.

“The Ministers of Somalia and Ethiopia reiterated their commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and expressed their appreciation to Türkiye for its facilitation, as well as its constructive contributions,” stated Minister Taye Atske Selassie of Ethiopia.

The ministers agreed to pursue ongoing dialogue to ensure regional stability and scheduled a second round of discussions to take place in Ankara on September 2, 2024.

“Somalia confirmed its significant differences on the memorandum of understanding between Somaliland and Ethiopia and the issue of respecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” noted Minister Ahmed Moalim Fiqi. “We have assured the continuation of talks in Ankara again.”

Appreciation for Turkish Facilitation

Both parties expressed their gratitude to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey for initiating and supporting the dialogue.

“We made good progress today, and we are thankful for President Erdogan’s initiative,” concluded Minister Fidan.

The meeting marks a hopeful step towards resolving the complex issues between Somalia and Ethiopia, with Turkey playing a pivotal role in facilitating dialogue and fostering regional peace.

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