Somalia summons UAE Ambassador over Berbera Port deal
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Federal Government of Somalia has summoned the top United Arab Emirates [UAE] envoy in the country Mohammed Ahmed Othman Al Hammadi on Monday, Garowe Online reports.
The UAE Ambassador to Somalia was called at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, where he was received by Abdelkader Ahmed-Khair Abdi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
A statement released by Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Abdi and Al Hammadi have discussed the DP World’s 30-year concession agreement with Somaliland to manage the Port of Berbera.
During the meeting, Abdi has told the UAE Ambassador that Somali Federal Government will not compromise its sovereignty and national ownership, and will not agree to any agreement reached without its consent.
For his part, the UAE Ambassador to Somalia stressed that his country was fully committed to protecting, respecting and supporting the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Somalia.
Al Hammadi has stated that there was a need for continued coordination and consultation to broaden and deepen cooperation between the two brotherly countries which share historic relations.
The meeting came after Somali parliament has approved on March 12 a legislation banning the DP World from Somalia. The bill now awaits ascension of the President to make it law.
Early this month, the Emirati ports operator has announced a tripartite agreement dividing the Berbera port between DP World (51%), the Ethiopian government (19%), and the northern breakaway Somaliland (30%).
The Berbera Port deal has brewed a diplomatic row between Somalia and UAE.
The government of the United Arab Emirates is yet to comment on the issue, but, DP World chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem told Dubai TV that Somali government has nothing to do with the agreement, noting that Somaliland is “an independent country for 28 years.
The Prime Minister of Somalia Hassan Ali Khaire has termed the deal "illegal" saying it was not consulted with his government.
Somaliland has condemned the decision as a declaration of war against it and asserted it has the rights to make own deals with foreign countries as an “Independent country”.