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Somalia: Farmajo arrives in Asmara for tripartite summit

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

ASMARA, Eritrea - Somalia President Mohamed Farmajo has on Monday arrived at Asmara where he will be participating in the Tripartite summit, authorities in Eritrea have confirmed.

Monday's visit is the second in as many weeks, given that the federal leader was at the tiny Horn of Africa nation recently for bilateral talks.

Farmajo, who is keen for re-election, arrived at Asmara International Airport at 10:30 am local time, Yemane Meskel, the information minister said.

Isaias Afwerki, the Eritrean President, accorded a warm welcome to President Mohammed and his delegation on their arrival at Asmara Int. Airport, he added.

Among those accompanying Farmajo include Mr. Abdi Ashir Hassen, Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Technology; and Dr. Nur Dire Hersi, Adviser for Foreign Policy.

The current Tripartite Summit is a follow-up to previous Summits in Asmara and Bahri Dar in September/November. 2018 respectively.

Initially, the two countries had struggled to normalize their relationship, with Mogadishu accusing Asmara of dispatching weapons to Al-Shabaab.

But in 2018, the two nations dropped their had stance, opting for peaceful resolutions which include expanding trade and other partnerships.

Al-Shabaab had been accused of smuggling weapons through Eritrea with the UN threatening to have sanctions imposed on Asmara.

When he last visited, Farmajo described his expeditions as "very successful", adding that "we shall continue to work together for the betterment of our countries".

Ethiopian PM Ahmed Abiy has also arrived at Asmara for the function which currently ongoing. He jetted in shortly after Farmajo's arrival.

"I will be meeting with my brothers, the leaders of Eritrea and Somalia. President Isaias Afwerki, President Mohammed Abdullahi and I will discuss a wide range of issues," he said.

"As always, I am certain our dear and welcoming city of Asmara will make our stay delightful," added Abiy, who is credited for engineering social-economic reforms in Ethiopia.

Mr. Ahmed was also awarded Nobel Peace Prize ostensibly for the role he played in normalizing his relationship with Eritrea after two decades of conflict.

The three leaders have been fronting inter-community trade in the Horn of Africa, besides encouraging peace and stability in the region.

Abiy has recently faced criticism from Somalia opposition leaders, who accuse him of working with Farmajo to "destabilize regional governments".