By: Yusuf M Hasan
ISTANBUL (Somalilandsun) – The oft postponed fifth phase of internationally sanctioned talks between Somaliland and Somalia are expected to commence in the Turkish city of Istanbul from the 17th Jan 2014.
The 7 member team of negotiators from Somaliland who arrived in the early hours of this morning in Istanbul informed that they are fully prepared for talk’s commencement with counterparts from the Somalia Federal Government-SFG whose agenda according to Somaliland foreign minister is “The Honourable Separation of the two formally united countries”
The Somaliland negotiators who departed for Turkey from Addis Ababa Ethiopia where they undertook high level negotiations skills training from Dynamic Crisis an internationally acclaimed organization and engaged prominent African leaders is led by Foreign minister Mohamed Behi Yonis and includes include the ministers of presidency, livestock, social services Hirsi H Ali, Abdi Aw Dahir and Hon Garad respectively and augmented by MP Kijande as well as the first and second deputy speakers of the Somaliland parliament’s house of representative MP Bashe M Farah and Hon Yusuf of the Guurti house of elders.
On arrival in Istanbul Foreign minister Behi Yonis who thanked the Turkish government for continued facilitation of talks between the two countries said “We are ready for dialogue with our counterparts from Somalia who are expected here in Turkey anytime now”
Meanwhile reports from Mogadishu indicate that SFG negotiators whose agenda are the reunification of the two countries and led by minister of interior Abdikarim Hussein Guleid has departed, actual composition of the team remains fuzzy and their Turkey arrival is yet to be announced.
According to preliminary schedule, the third round talks in Turkey will take three days commencing from Thursday morning (16th Jan) with Turkish government officials acting as mediators while Britons will be there as observers and morale boosters.
The talks were postponed in November last year due to political infighting within the Federal Government top officials which later led to the oust of the country’s former Prime Minister Shirdon and his subsequent replacement by Abdiweli who is yet to form his council of ministers.
Though the talks are finally to be reconvened the adamant stand by the two sides with Somaliland determined on nothing but discussions on Separation and Somalia on reunification with the Turks partial towards the SFG the conclusion remains questionable.