Turkey Seeks Reconciliation Between Somalia and Ethiopia

Turkey is mediating talks between Somalia and Ethiopia over a contentious port deal that Ethiopia signed with Somaliland earlier this year, according to officials with inside knowledge of the matter. Ethiopia had agreed to recognize Somaliland’s independence in exchange for the lease of 20km of the region’s coastline. However, the decision didn’t go down well with Mogadishu, which deemed the agreement illegal, expelled the Ethiopian ambassador, and threatened to expel Ethiopian troops assisting in combating Islamist insurgents. Turkey shares a close relationship with Somalia and has rendered significant assistance to the East African country.  It has trained the country’s security forces, built schools and hospitals, and done several other things for the country, in return for a foothold on a major global shipping route. Nevertheless, expectations are low that the negotiations will lead to a resolution, unless Ethiopia rescinds its agreement with Somaliland.


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