Somalia: Eritrean delegation arrives in Mogadishu


MOGADISHU, Somalia - A high-level Eritrean delegation led by foreign minister Osman Saleh arrived in the Somali capital, Mogadishu on Monday for talks on re-establishment the diplomatic ties between the two countries, Garowe Online reports.

The delegation - which was received by Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire at Aden Adde International Airport - also included Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki's adviser and right-hand man Yemane Gebreab.

"Regional cooperation for stability and economic progress is crucial for common prosperity of the Horn," Somali PM tweeted.

It is the first time in more than a decade that a top-level delegation from Asmara visits Somalia, a move that signals the improving ties with Mogadishu.

The visit came following President Farmajo’s recent historic three-day visit to Asmara, where the two Horn of Africa nations agreed to restore diplomatic relations after nearly 15 years.

During his stay, the president called on United Nations [UN] to lift the long-running sanctions on Eritrea, a statement that sparked a diplomatic row between Somalia and Djibouti.

In response to the call, Djibouti has summoned its ambassador in Mogadishu early this month, saying it has “deeply shocked” by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s calls for the removal of the sanctions.

Djibouti said the economic restrictions imposed on Eritrea in 2009 were due to Asmara’s refusal to withdraw troops from their disputed border and for its alleged support of Somalia-based Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group. 

Eritrea which has gained independence from Ethiopia in 1991 after decades of guerrilla struggle is currently trying to restore relations with countries in East Africa.


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