By: Mahmud Qodah
Somalilandsun – -at the end of a meeting with TurKish delegation led by Ambassador Olagan Bekar, at the presidency- elucidated existing inequity of Turkish Aid to Somaliland and other issues that has been promised but not implemented by Turkey.
Minister Bihi said, “In our meeting we discussed that of inequity and disproportion of Turkish aid to Somaliland and Somalia, which is in contrast to earlier understanding, that Turkey, as mediator, will consider the 2 countries as equal and separate entities. We support aid being given to Somalia; such as the modernization of ADEN Adde Airport in Mogadishu and road infrastructure. We are waiting to be comparable to that of Somalia as promised by President Erdogan hen he was the prime minister.”
Mr. Bihi added that they also discussed about the historical relation between Somaliland and Turkey during the Ottoman Empire in the 16th Century and the need of implementation of projects promised but are still pending.
“We requested the government of Turkey to organize and host a Trade and Investment Conference, which is similar to that held in London in October, to enhance international investment in Somaliland. To further enhance and strengthen Somaliland/Turkey relation by endorsing Somaliland passport as a travel document, enhance bilateral relation in trade, health and travel, to ease grievances of the people of Somaliland about the disparity of aid to Somaliland and Somalia.” He added
Turkish Ambassador to Somaliland and Somalia Mr. Olgan Bekar speaking at the joint press conference said, “Our discussions were fruitful and beneficial. The promised liaison office for Somaliland in Turkey will be opened soon and Turkey projects in Somaliland will be doubled.”
On bilateral relations Ambassador Bekar said, “Somaliland is in the inner nucleus of our relation with Africa. It is the core of stability and peace in the Horn region. We had sound and historical relations in politics, economy and culture in the 16th Century; and as such Turkey will augment its relation in all the 3 areas. We will also increase our development projects.”
On Somaliland Somalia Dialogue
Mr. Bihi described the dialogue to be moving at a nails pace and that Somaliland is fully aware of the existing condition in Somalia. He pointed out that the aim of the dialogue is to realize the existing of Somalia and Somaliland as 2 separate states and good neighbors.
“The people of Somaliland have been waiting for the dialogue for the last 23 years and they hope that the dialogue will move with a greater pace. The increase of the pace in the dialogue depends on Turkey who is the mediator; to make greater effort to make the dialogue fruitful.”He said.
Ambassador Bekar described as unfortunate that Somalia/Somaliland Dialogue isn’t fruitful so far; but promised that Turkey will increase its efforts to bring the dialogue to a comfortable and fruitful conclusion.
He said,” We are ready to 9oncrease our efforts to increase the pace of the dialogue and the establishment of the Joint Secretariat Committee. We have high expectations that the dialogue will begin in the next few weeks. We hope that it will bear fruit.”