Our cooperation with Ethiopia is unstoppable, Puntland says

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Puntland reiterated its urge to work closely with neighboring countries.

GAROWE (GO) - Puntland reiterated its urge to work closely with neighboring countries while dismissing Somalia’s decision to lock Ethiopia's consulate in Garowe, following a series of misups emerging from misunderstandings between Mogadishu and Addis Ababa.

In a rather unprecedented move, Somalia announced closure of Ethiopia’s consulates in Garowe (Puntland) and Hargeisa (Somaliland), besides ordering immediate exit of Ethiopia’s Ambassador Muktar Mohamed Ware.

The federal government asked Somalia’s envoy to Ethiopia to also return to Mogadishu 'for further consultations'. Consulates should be closed within seven days and Ambassador Muktar should leave within 72 hours, the statement read.

But Puntland accused federal government of Somalia of 'violation of the constitution of Somalia'. In a detailed statement, Puntland State highlighted its enduring economic, security, and societal ties with Ethiopia for decades..

Describing the move on April 4, 2024, as motivated by enmity and detrimental to Puntland’s interests, the statement emphasizes that Puntland will pursue its foreign relations with neighboring countries and international stakeholders, asserting that the consulate’s closure does not reflect the state’s interests or policies

Earlier, Mohamud Aydid Dirir, Puntland's minister for information, said: "The Federal Government of Somalia has no jurisdiction in Puntland to close Ethiopia's Consulate in Garowe!"

The conflict could further cause disharmony in Somalia given that Puntland had cut ties with Mogadishu, accusing it of bungling constitutional review process. Somaliland on its part, has been running its own government and had approached Ethiopia for recognition, leading to the current impasse.

Somaliland ceded 20 kilometers of the Red Sea to Ethiopia for establishment of naval base and port, but the move has been resisted by Somalia, which accuses Ethiopia’s of violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia.

GAROWE ONLINE

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