Turkish foreign minister says 2nd meeting between foreign ministers of Ethiopia, Somalia set for Sept. 2

Turkish foreign minister says 2nd meeting between foreign ministers of Ethiopia, Somalia set for Sept. 2

Hakan Fidan's announcement comes after foreign ministers of Ethiopia, Somalia met in Ankara on Monday to settle differences

By Tugba Altun

Following progress at Monday’s meeting, a second meeting between the foreign ministers of Ethiopia and Somalia will be held on Sept. 2, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Tuesday.

Noting the complexity of the issue, Hakan Fidan said, "In light of what we heard today, our hopes for the future have been strengthened. The (foreign) ministers have decided to meet again on September 2, 2024 in Ankara for a second round of talks," stressing that all parties reached a better understanding.

Fidan's statement came after Ethiopian Foreign Minister Taye Atske Selassie and Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Moallim Fiqi met in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday in a bid to settle their countries’ differences.

Emphasizing that progress was made during the talks, Fidan said Türkiye, with its deep-rooted relations and wide-ranging cooperation with both countries, played a facilitating role.

"We find ourselves in a very privileged position today. The highest level of trust and the mandate given by both sides to Türkiye and President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan reinforces our conviction that we are on the right track," he added, reaffirming Ankara's commitment to peace, diplomacy, and goodwill supports efforts to build common dialogue and find common grounds.

Fidan also held one-to-one meetings with the two countries’ foreign ministers.

A joint Ankara statement issued following Monday’s meeting said that Ethiopia and Somalia "agreed to meet in Ankara on 2nd of September 2024 to have a second round of discussions."

"The Ministers, through Türkiye’s facilitation, were able to separately have a candid, cordial and forward-looking exchange concerning their differences and explored perspectives towards addressing them within a mutually acceptable framework," it noted, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Stressing that the foreign ministers reaffirmed their "commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences, and expressed their appreciation to Türkiye for its facilitation, as well as its constructive contributions," it underscored that they also agreed to uphold the dialogue in order to ensure regional stability and sort out their issues.

"Both parties expressed their appreciation to His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Türkiye, for this initiative," it added.

Ties between Ethiopia and Somalia have worsened since Ethiopia struck a deal with the breakaway region of Somaliland on Jan. 1.

The Ethiopian government defended its decision to sign the deal without Mogadishu's approval, saying the agreement with Somaliland "will affect no party or country."

Somalia lashed out at the pact, calling it a violation of its sovereignty and recalling its ambassador from Ethiopia.

*Writing by Serdar Dincel

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