Somaliland:Tripartite Port Agreement Beneficial for Somaliland says foreign Minister

The foreign minister of Somaliland Saad Ali Shire

Hargeisa (The Horn)- The minister of foreign affairs Dr.Saad Ali Shire has spoken about the  tripartite agreement. He confirmed that the road connecting Berbera to  Wajale will begin later this year. The minister was speaking to the  Horn Newspapers in an exclusive interview this is the dossier of the  interview…..

Geeska Afrika: The Ethiopian minister of Transport said that despite  his country gain of 19% stake at Berbera port that does not mean that  his country has recognized Somaliland. He went further to say that  agreement is a trade deal between the two countries what do you  confirm or deny about the Ethiopian minister sentiments?

Foreign Minister: We always had a special relationship with Ethiopia.

The two countries are neighbors and it is the policy of the Somaliland  government to have good relations with her neighbor furthermore we  have been doing business with Ethiopia since the time of immemorial.

It is our responsibility to have friendship with our neighbors.

Q: Do you think time has come for Somaliland to match her trade  deficit with Ethiopia following their gain of 19% stake at Berbera  International Port?

A:No. First and foremost our biggest handicap is that we are an import  economy we simply manufacture nothing and for the time being to  underscore that challenge is a daunting task. Another obstacle is that  we do not export much, we used to export livestock but for now there  is a ban. This is dangerous it will always affect the value of our  Shilling. This has to change we have to start to invest in the agriculture economy so that our country can become self sufficient.

Q: Since the tripartite agreement was signed the Somalia parliament  has become a thorn in the flesh to Somaliland aspirations of self  determination. How do you gauge the situation?

A: They are just making noises that have no purpose. By the way Somalia has no jurisdiction over Somaliland so their parliament should not waste their valuable time to discuss Somaliland a democratic country with her own president, parliament and independent judiciary.

Q: How about the Somaliland and Somalia  talks are you going to engage with your adversaries or you are simply going to bide your time?

A: We are going to bide our time until we can see a climate conducive to us to engage with Somalia and until then we will sit on our laurels.

Q: Can we say that the tripartite agreement has opened a can of worms  in the diplomatic circles for instance the Somalia government is opposed to the agreement and hence have support from Qatar and Turkey whereas Somaliland is supported by UAE?

A: It is simply we will put our eggs where they will hatch. For  example 50% of our trade is done with the UAE and 90% of our livestock

goes to Saudi Arabia so you can see we have to take care of our


Q: Please tell us about the relationship between our country Turkey 

and Qatar is frosty or cordial?

A: Somaliland foreign policy is straightforward we build bridges not

walls we would love to have the best relationship with every country  in the planet.

Q: Can you give us a tit bit of information about the UAE military base?

A: The military camp will soon be established and mid this year the  Berbera-Wajale road will commence construction.

Q: Somaliland has  passed many metamorphosis to reach where it is today as the foreign minister what do you think is obstacle standing on the wayside of Somaliland International Recognition?

A: Somaliland has fulfilled all requirements for independence and what remains is the world to acknowledge us and recognize us.


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