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Turkey-Somalia defense pact signed amid Horn of Africa tensions


Friday February 9, 2024

 

Mogadishu (HOL) - Turkey and Somalia have forged a defence and economic cooperation agreement in Ankara on Thursday amid simmering regional tensions. The pact comes against the backdrop of recent controversial developments in the Horn of Africa, notably the Ethiopia-Somaliland agreement that has escalated diplomatic frictions.

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The Turkish Defense Minister, Mr. Ya┼čar Güler, and his Somali counterpart, Mr. Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, presided over the signing ceremony, marking a pivotal moment in bilateral relations. Both nations have committed to combating terrorism and bolstering military and financial cooperation. The deal is multifaceted and includes joint military exercises, intelligence sharing, and humanitarian aid.

Nur lauded Turkey's consistent support, emphasizing the deal's role in enhancing regional stability. 

"The agreement we signed today involves cooperation on the fight against terrorism and military-financial cooperation," Nur said, speaking at a joint press conference. "We believe that the agreement will contribute greatly to Somalia."

However, the timing and nature of the defence pact are crucial, emerging when the Horn of Africa is at the center of global and regional power plays. The recent agreement between Ethiopia and the breakaway region of Somaliland, granting Ethiopia access to the Red Sea in exchange for recognizing Somaliland's independence and shares in Ethiopian Airlines, has ignited concerns over sovereignty and regional integrity. Somalia vehemently opposed the deal as a breach of its territorial sovereignty and finds Turkey a powerful ally reinforcing its stance amid these escalating tensions.

Turkey's engagement in Somalia is profound, encompassing military, economic, and infrastructural support. The presence of a Turkish military base in Somalia as its largest embassy complex in the world underlines Turkey's role in Somalia's quest for stability.

 



 





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