Ethiopia, Somalia agree to forge closer ties

Addis Ababa, May 3, 2017 (FBC) –Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed held discussions here at the National Palace today.

The discussions were held in a frank and cordial manner that characterize the historic friendship existed between the two countries.

In a joint press conference issued after the discussion, the two leaders expressed their readiness to create a high level-joint cooperation committee and fully implement previously signed agreements to revitalize the already existing mechanism of cooperation.

The two sides also agreed to encourage free movement of goods and services between their respective countries. 

They also reaffirmed their commitment to bolster their support to AMISOM and to take practical measures to avail all necessary resources to develop a well-functioning Somalia National Army that can effectively deal with al-Shabaab and progressively takeover from AMISOM.

The two sides further expressed their concern on the return of piracy in the Indian Ocean and called on the international community to redouble efforts to support Somali National Coast Guard and to increase the capability of the Somali Police Forces to enforce the rule of law and control criminal activities.

They expressed their concern on the critical humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa region and called for national, regional and international collaborative efforts to effectively and timely respond to the crises.

The leaders further called on the upcoming London Conference on Somalia to recognize the Horn of African state’s ownership of the process and to accommodate the country’s peace and development objectives.

The two sides finally urged IGAD member states to speak with one voice to make the most of the present opportunities for Somalia.

President Mohamed arrived in Addis Ababa today for a two-day state visit upon the invitation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Upon his arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, the President was welcomed by high level government officials, including Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Translated and posted by Amare Asrat