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Somalia: Eritrea's FM lands in Somaliland as Guelleh ends Mogadishu visit

By Staff Editor , Garowe Online

HARGEISA, Somaliland - A high-level Eritrean delegation led by foreign minister Osman Saleh has on Monday arrived in Hargeisa, the capital of Somalia's northern breakaway region, Somaliland, Garowe Online reports.

The delegation which was received at Igal airport by Vice president Abdirahman Saylici and foreign minister Yasin Mohamud Fara-toon also included Eritrean President's right-hand man Yemane Gebreab.

It is the first time in more than two decades that a top-level delegation from Asmara visits Somaliland since it declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 after the country plunged into civil war.

The visit comes a day after the President of Djibouti, Eritrea's regional arch-foe has wrapped up a two-day historic visit to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, where he met with top leaders, including President Farmajo.

The Eritrean delegation held talks with Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi and other officials at the presidential palace in Hargeisa, discussing issues pertaining to the bilateral ties between the two sides.

"The objective of this first-ever Eritrean Government delegation visit to Hargeisa is to begin engagement with Somaliland and to buttress the quest for the promotion of regional peace," said Eritrea's Information Minister, Yemane Meskel.

Meskel added that the delegation will have numerous meetings with a wide range of actors during the three-day working visit aimed at parceling the ongoing concerted efforts to enhance regional peace.

"We discussed issues pertaining the bilateral relations, regional economic integration, security and the political dynamics in the Horn of Africa. Agreed to share a common history and brotherly bond," said Muse Bihi, Somaliland president.

In July 2018, Eritrea and Somalia leaders signed a historic peace deal in Asmara to restore their countries' diplomatic relations after 15 years of animosity.