Somalilandsun: Turkey views the Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed hosted meeting between the presidents of Somaliland and Somalia as very constructive.
This was stated by the Turkish envoy to Somalia and Somalia Ambassador Mehmet Yilmaz during an interview with VOA Somali service in which he, envoy, also commended president Farmajo for acknowledgment of atrocities committed by Somalia to the people of Somaliland and subsequent apology.
Turkey has been facilitating the internationally sanctioned talks between the two formerly united countries but now stalled owing to differences as pertains to perception by Somalia that the main intent is to negotiate reunion while Somaliland is in pursuit of official separation having withdrawn from the 1960 voluntary later turned fateful association three decades ago.
On the first face to face meeting hosted by PM Abiy in Addis Ababa between the Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi and his Somalia Counterpart Mohamed Abdilahi Farmajo, the Mogadishu based Turkish diplomat said
“This was a very constructive session of dialogue especially as relates to the subsequent acknowledgment of atrocities to citizens of Somaliland and apology proffered by the Somalia head of state”
Stressing on the importance of this single outcome Amb Mehmet Yilmaz said his government was very impressed for Ankara perceives it as a major hurdle passed in the search for a mutually acceptable compromise between the two states.
Said he, “This has always been a major factor” adding that the momentum of this historic apology should be the new launching pad for resumption of the Somaliland and Somalia talks that hinge on various fronts most importantly the political and public relations context.
While other factors especially technical ones are also of import in these negotiations between Mogadishu and Hargeisa, the Turkish envoy reiterated that the role of the government in Ankara is only facilitation while the onus of guiding discussions and implementation of agreement is solely the responsibility of the two negotiators.
“Turkey’s role is only a facilitator and mediator in the talks’ said ambassador Yilmaz
According to the diplomat the Turkish government is convinced that the African union implements a very lackluster policy in solving issues in the continent thence a mutually acceptable end game between Somaliland and Somalia end game can only succeed through agreement by the two.
Although Turkey can proffer advice and take a number of steps in that direction ‘Ankara is aware that the issue is solely an African one thence the mantle lies in the continent’ said Amb Mehmet Yilmaz
Stressing on the commitment of authorities in Ankara towards a successful outcome of negotiations between the two brotherly states, the envoy gave example of continued engagement with Mogadishu and Hargeisa by his predecessor’s Amb Olgen Biker in his capacity as Turkey’s mediator.
“This engagement by Amb Biker is a clear pointer to Commitment by Turkey and in this framework our government expects direction to efficacious culmination of three decades of animosity to come from Somalia and Somaliland” said the envoy
Accordingly Turkey based on the outcome of the Addis Ababa meeting between the two heads of state as well as from discussions with Amb Olgen Biker; Ankara anticipates a clear cut strategy on the way forward from the authorities in Mogadishu and Hargeisa.
Away from the stalled talks Turkey is a major humanitarian and development benefactor to the Federal Government of Somalia especially armed forces training and equipping, health, education and economic sectors among many.
And though Somaliland is also a recipient of the Turkish largesse compared to Somalia it has also been included together with the Federal government and its regional administrations in accusations of maladministration by Ankara.
In the meantime Somaliland has received a consignment of assorted Corona Virus preventive kits donated by Turkey among them 2,400 liters of antiseptics, 4,800 liters of bleach and 1,280 liters of disinfectants.