Hargeysa(Mogadishu24)-Somaliland President, Muse Bihi Abdi provided details about sensitive Memorandum of Understanding in which he signed with Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, on Monday afternoon, facilitating Ethiopia’s access to the sea.

Musa said that Somaliland will lease 20KM of sea to Ethiopia, and in return, Ethiopia will officially recognize Somaliland as a sovereign republic during a press conference with Abiy in Addis Ababa.

“In exchange for 20KM sea access for the Ethiopian Naval Forces, leased for a period of 50 years, Ethiopia will formally recognize the Republic of Somaliland, setting a precedent as the first nation to extend international recognition to our country,” President Bihi said.

Although the Ethiopian government didn’t confirm whether it will extend recognition to Somaliland, it has confirmed the leasing of the Naval base from Somaliland.

“A step ahead in the right direction for this and generations to come. FDRE signed MOU with Somaliland for Partnership and cooperation, which paves the way for accessing a leased military base on the Red Sea,” said Redwan Hussein, the National Security Advisor to the Ethiopian Prime Minister.

A statement from the Office of 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.”

“History in the making! A leasing of a 20 km sea gate access, with reciprocity for #recognition and economic growth, is a game-changer, a landmark deal and a bold step forward which opens doors to a brighter horizon, paving the way for #Somaliland and #Ethiopia to thrive”, Ali Hassan Mohamed, Somaliland Minister of Information said on X post.

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

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