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(DW) Somali president begins three-day visit in Eritrea as diplomatic relations thaw

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Sunday, 29 July 2018

AFRICA 
  • DATE 29.07.2018

Somali president begins three-day visit in Eritrea as diplomatic relations thaw

Somali President Mohamed Abduallahi Mohamed began his three-day visit to Eritrea, where he will meet with President Isaias Afwerki. He is the first Somali president to enter Eritrea in 15 years.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed arrived in the Eritrean capital of Asmara on Saturday to kick off his three-day visit in a bid to normalize relations.

It is the first visit by a Somali president to Eritrea, one of the world's most isolated nations, since it gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. The two nations have not had diplomatic ties in nearly 15 years.

Abdinur Mohamed, a spokesman for the Somali president, said on Twitter that the country "is ready to write a new chapter of its relations with Eritrea."

President @M_Farmaajo accompanied by high level delegation flew to Asmara today. Somalia is ready to write a new chapter of its relations with Eriteria. Regional cooperation is key to progress for the Horn of Africa. @TheVillaSomalia @MofaSomalia

Economic and security concerns are at the top of the agenda, as well as "regional issues of interest to both countries," Eritrea's information ministry said.

Yemane Meskel, Eritrea's information minister, said the three-day visit came at the invitation of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who has led since the country's independence. Meskel wrote on Twitter that the leaders "have already held a summit," sharing photos of the meeting.

President Mohammed A. Mohammed is accompanied by Ministers of Information,Culture &Tourism; Transport; Construction; & State Minister at Foreign Ministry. Both leaders have already held a Summit. President Mohammed will visit development sites during his brief sojourn in Eritrea

Somalia's President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed arrived in Asmara at midday today for a three-day official visit to a tumultuous welcome by the Government and people of Eritrea.

Previous Somali administrations have accused Eritrea of supporting the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist group. Eritrea, which remains under United Nations sanctions, has denied it, saying the accusations were concocted by Ethiopia.
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