Somalia, Ethiopia agree to deepen bilateral trade ties
MOGADISHU, Somalia - At the invitation of Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali accompanied by a high-level delegation, made an official one-day visit to Mogadishu on Friday, June 16.
The two leaders have issued a joint communique after holding bilateral talks at Villa Somalia, the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu, which sheds light on the main issues they discussed.
1.The two leaders and their delegations held lengthy discussions covering a wide range of matters of mutual interest including regional and global affairs. During the discussions, the two leaders renewed their commitment to strengthen their brotherly bilateral relations spanning generations based on shared blood relations, values, history, culture and traditions and espoused by the principles of good neighborliness, mutual respect and promotion of mutual interest.
2.The leaders agreed to a renewed engagement to intensify relations based on an agreed comprehensive framework which covers, among other things, robust diplomatic relations between Somalia and Ethiopia, with the Federal Republic of Somalia and Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia as the primary interlocutors with sovereign authority.
3.To this end, the two leaders welcomed the formation of the previously agreed Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) at Ministerial level and its function to promote enhanced diplomatic and trade activities on a reciprocal basis that would involve regular bilateral engagements, exchange of attaches, and sponsorship of cultural, sport and educational exchanges.
4.To aid these strengthened relations and strengthen diplomatic and consular presence in each other’s’ countries, the leaders agreed to open reciprocal diplomatic and consular offices in major cities in Somalia and Ethiopia. The leaders also agreed to introduce measures to allow for the free movement of goods and services by introducing permits and expanding specific visas for travel for educational, sporting and cultural purposes to facilitate social integration between Somalia and Ethiopia.
5.Recognizing the potential for harmonious economic development for both nations, the two leaders paid singular focus to economic growth, wealth creation and promotion of investment between Somalia and Ethiopia in order to secure a prosperous future for their people, the countries of the Horn of Africa, and ultimately the African Continent.
6.In this respect, the two leaders agreed to enhance the economic integration of their two nations while reaffirming the importance of economic security and development through utilization of the human and natural resources of the two nations as the most effective means of tackling the current security challenges. The leaders therefore agreed to remove all trade and economic barriers and deepen and widen economic linkages by first and foremost, the development of critical infrastructure in particular development of ports and key highways linking the two nations. The leaders further agreed to invest in logistics and service provision especially to leading ports in the continent that can serve both the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
7.In an effort to attract and retain foreign investment to the two countries and the Horn of Africa Region, the leaders agreed on the joint investment in four key seaports between the two countries, and the construction of the main road networks and arteries that would link Somalia to mainland Ethiopia. The leaders agreed to constitute a designated joint technical team that would immediately embark on the key task of outlining this substantial undertaking.
8.To fully take advantage of the larger market with more opportunities and greater economies of scale, for business, the leaders agreed to encourage incentivized investments particularly through the private sector in both countries, in order to create jobs and facilitate full economic integration between the two countries.
9.The two leaders recognized that peace and stability were a prerequisite for the development and prosperity of both countries and therefore emphasized the importance of continued active cooperation between Somalia and Ethiopia to effectively counter terrorism and deal with cross-border security challenges. The leaders both condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and underscored the need to actively collaborate.
10.The Federal Government of Somalia paid tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of AMISOM and recognized the prominent role of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces in this regard. While recognizing the continued commitment by the Troop Contributing Countries to Somalia, both leaders reaffirmed AMISOM’s critical role to Somalia’s progress, as the country moved into the next chapter of security ownership across the country.
11.While appreciating AMISOM’s role in the peace and state-building efforts of Somalia, the leaders expressly stated the need to zealously guard against any risks, both internal and external, to the reversal of the gains achieved in Somalia. Both leaders called upon friendly countries to contribute positively to Somalia’s peace and state-building efforts.
12.The two leaders unequivocally stated their mutual respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and the unity of both nations and called upon all Somali actors to relentlessly work towards the unity and cohesiveness of Somalia.
13.On international matters, the two leaders called for an effective multilateral system with a reformed and stronger United Nations. They also agreed to advocate for African solutions for African Problems alongside the African Union and to foster joint positions on international matters of mutual concern.
14.The Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia paid tribute to the Somalia’s leadership for their commitment, determination and courage in overcoming challenges and making considerable progress in implementing a robust reform agenda and moving Somalia firmly towards the path of sustainable, peace and development.
15.President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ while welcoming Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on his recent election as Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, President Farmaajo commended him for his reform agenda and his vision that is set to positively impact the outlook for this nation and that of Horn of Africa region as well.
16.President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” on behalf of the Government and the people of Somalia, expressed the unreserved appreciation to his brother Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali who on his part, thanked the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the people of Somalia for the warm and gracious hospitality accorded to him and the members of his delegation during their visit in Somalia.
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