By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The on and off talks between Somaliland and Somalia are set for a new direction following the appointment of mediator.
Hosts to the internationally sanctioned talks between the two neighbouring countries, the Republic of Turkey saw its government appoint Ambassador Ahmet Riza Demirer as go between.
Amb Demirer who assumes a hitherto non-existent post is visiting the country where he has so far consulted with president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and leaders of the three national political parties of UCID, Kulmiye and Wadani in Hargeisa.
During his meeting at the presidency saw the Turkish mediator discuss issues related to the flattering talks with Somalia with President Silanyo who was flanked by a number of ministers.
In a message posted in his twitter account the Turkish consul General in Somaliland Muzaffer Yuksel wrote ” Amb Demirer newly appointed as Somaliland Somalia talks mediator held fruitful discussions with president Silanyo and members of his cabinet as well as leader of ruling Kulmiye party muse Behi Abdi on the way forward”
Neither the Somaliland presidency nor its ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation has released an official statement pertaining to the closed door meeting that comes after a recent spate of disharmony between Hargeisa and Ankara.
The short lived spat of diplomatic uproar that ensued after reports indicated that Turkish and Somalia authorities have drafted traditional leaders as talk’s negotiators without the knowledge of Hargeisa.
Things only clamed without reaching rooftops after the Turkish Consul General for Somaliland Muzaffer Yuksel released an official statement denying the rumours.
Sources indicate that the closed door meeting at the Presidency between Somaliland and Turkish official was held in a sombre mood.
Following the consultations with the head of state Amb Ahmet Riza Demirer met with leaders of the two Somaliland opposition political parties national political parties with UCID represented by Eng Feisal Ali Warabe while Abdilahi Irro and Fatuma Saeed sat for Wadani Respectively.
According to a press statement released jointly by the two parties discussions with Amb Demirer revolved around
I. Ensuring that Somaliland Somalia talks are fruitful
II. Imperatives of host Turkey turning to an impartial mediator
III. A Turkish review on its rate of support to Somalia and Somaliland currently skewed towards Mogadishu
IV. An Acknowledgement by Turkey that past failures of talks to produce tangible are as a result of dilly-dallying by Somalia authorities.
Other issues touched upon included the urgency of having Turkey expand its Consul General’s office in Hargeisa as well bilateral relations between the two countries more so as pertains the political front.
On the other and a scheduled meeting between the visiting Turkish envoy and local Somaliland Civil Society organizations was cancelled without giving any reasons.
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