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Arab Economic Forum slams Ethiopia-Somaliland port deal as threat to regional stability

Wednesday May 1, 2024

Doha (HOL) - The countries in the Arab Economic and Cooperation Forum with Central Asian Countries and the Republic of Azerbaijan strongly supported the Somali government in its efforts to preserve Somali sovereignty on land, sea and air.

During their third session held Tuesday in Doha, the ministers from the countries affirmed the right of the Federal Republic of Somalia to legitimately defend its lands in accordance with what was stipulated in Article (51) of the United Nations Charter, and the relevant articles of the Charter of the League of Arab States.

The Ministers affirmed their solidarity
 and full support for the position of the Somali State with all its agencies, which considered the "Memorandum of Understanding" signed on January 1st, 2024 between the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the "Somaliland" region null, void and unacceptable, and constitute a flagrant violation of the principles of International Law, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Somalia, good-neighborly relations, peaceful coexistence and stability the region. 

The Ministers expressed their rejection to the memorandum and any legal, political, commercial or military implications arising from it, and urged all countries to condemn and reject this memorandum. 

"We rejected attempts to benefit from the aforementioned "Memorandum of Understanding" to create a new geopolitical reality in the Gulf of Aden, off the Somali coast and the Red Sea, and considered it a threatening step to Arab national security and navigation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden," the statement added.

The Arab Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Economy, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan, and HE Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the League of Arab States Secretary-General participated in the Forum.

In January, Ethiopia's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, acknowledged that his administration is under mounting international pressure to revoke its pact with Somaliland.

The agreement, which includes provisions for a 20-kilometre stretch of Somaliland's coastline for naval access in exchange for potential recognition of the self-declared republic, has been met with skepticism and alarm. Critics, including neighbouring countries and international organizations, view this as a potentially destabilizing act in a geopolitically sensitive region.


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