The Presidents of the Republic of Somaliland and Djibouti, Muse Bihi Abdi and Ismail Omar Ghuelleh, held a lengthy meeting, Wednesday, in Djibouti to intensify collaboration on mutual areas of concern.
“During this meeting, President Guelleh and President Muse spoke of the strategic partnership between the two parties, especially in the field of security, strengthening of peace and stability in the region,” reads a statement published by President Guelleh on his Facebook account.
“The security and stability of the region are two crucial issues for our country, a privileged platform for the settlement of disputes and the search for consensus conducive to peace in East Africa,” he added.
President Guelleh also said in his statement that “The choice made for the Republic of Djibouti to host the recent decisive IGAD summit which devoted a large part to the dispute between Kenya and Somalia, perfectly illustrates the role of promoter of peace and stability devolved to our country in the Horn of Africa.”
“Apart from issues related to peace and regional stability, the meeting between the Head of State and Mr. Bihi focused on ways and means to establish a new system allowing the two parties to facilitate economic exchanges. and commercial at the Loyada land border. They also agreed to strengthen partnership links in the water sector,.”
The meeting between the two presidents follows an unannounced, impromptu visit which President Bihi made to Djibouti earlier today.
Djibouti as an internationally recognized country, although the nearest to kin to Somaliland on many fronts including common descent and cultural similarities, has failed to convert this to the advantage of the two countries.
The bulk of the Somaliland population believes that – for reasons only be known to itself – Djibouti preferred Mogadishu to Hargeisa although, again, the latter had played a selfless role in the former’s long, arduous road to its 1977 independence.
Djibouti is one of the Somali areas whose quest led Somaliland to throw away its diplomatically recognized sovereignty to the winds in 1960 to thoughtlessly merge with Italian Somalia in anticipation of a greater Somali state – a move it regretted ever since.
President Bihi was received at the airport by Minister Mohamed Ahmed Awale ‘Mohamed Somali’ of Water, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
Besides Mohamed Somali, Minister Mohamoud Ali Youssuf of Foreign Affairs participated in the meeting between the two Presidents, on the Djibouti side where Professor Yassin Mohamoud Hiir ‘Faratoon’ accompanied President Bihi.
The two ambassadors in each other’s country, Abdifattah Ahmed Saeed of Somaliland to Djibouti, and Hussein Omar Kawaliye, representing Djibouti in Somaliland, also attended the meeting.
The two sides had been exchanging visits in recent months but the progress made in relations has not been eye-catching to date.
President Bihi’s Djibouti visit comes at the tail-end of a packed, diplomatically fruitful week for the Republic of Somaliland which appears to have commanded the genuine attention of a hitherto insouciant, propaganda-flooded international community.
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