Somaliland: Fifth Round of Somaliland and Somalia Talks Kick off in Istanbul, Turkey

By Goth Mohamed Goth

The fifth round of the ongoing dialogue talks between Somalia’s federal government and Somaliland were resumed on 16, Thursday 2014 with delegates representing both sides sat face to face in a conference room in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mr. Hani Torun Turkish Ambassador to Somaliland and Somaliland speaking at the start of the talks said, “The talks had a very Good start considering the eagerness of both sides to talk and which a good sign is and we hope that they can continue this dialogue in order to achieve their mutual interests,

Turkish government initiated the first round of talks between the two sides to ‘open dialogue’ in Ankara on 13th of April. The talks concluded with a memorandum of understanding known as the ‘Ankara Communiqué. The Ankara Communiqué consisted of seven points which both side agreed.

Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon Mohamed Bihi Yunis leading the SL delegation said, “Somaliland is ready and has been ready for a while” reiterating that the conclusion of the talks will be “Somaliland and Somalia living side by side as neighbors and brothers as two countries as it has been over the last two decades.

Hon Bih stated, “The Government of Somaliland welcomes the commitment of the government in Mogadishu to the continuation of the Somaliland-Somalia dialogue but at the same time strongly reiterates that our sovereignty was irrevocable and non-negotiable came with a cost in form of the spilling of the blood of innocent Somalilanders, he warned against the misinformation tactics used by SFG official with the intent of mislead western and other world officials and which usual purported that Somaliland will at some time in the near future to the federation, that kind of thinking insults the intelligence of Somalilanders.

“Somalia stands to benefit from an independent Somaliland and it’s beyond reasonable doubt that Somaliland has strategic and political value considering its post- conflict reconstruction and state-building process and, in doing so, Somaliland has contributed the region to be peaceful and stable”, Hon Mohamed Bihi said.

Somaliland Foreign minister said, “We are willing to look and review the previously agreements such as the shared airspace which unfortunately didn’t yield results in terms of breakthroughs from both SFG and GoSL.

A deadlock became evident when SFG authorized an airplane to land within Somaliland’s territory breaking point seven of the Ankara Communiqué. This prompted the decision by GoSL grounding all UN flights in and out of the country. This issue was resolved on July 7th – 9th2013 in Istanbul which both parties held further talks to rectify the situation.

An agreement was reached which was to create a joint-control body which manages both airspace based in Hargeisa however this was reneged by the SFG which in an act of deception went ahead and   discreetly signed another agreement with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in contempt of the Ankara Accord.

The former Somalia’s Interior and National Security Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled who has previously had led the SFG delegations told the media that the both sides will discuss issues including the unity of the country.

The Former Security Minister said, “We are focused on seeking a United Somalia and discuss and find ways to resolve what happened in the past just stopping short of assuming responsibility for the atrocities committed against the people of Somaliland,

Further engagements between the two side’s delegates will cease for next three days in order to give them time to prepare their respective agendas until the resumption of the next meeting which is due next Friday.

Click the Link Below to watch the Press Briefing Clip


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