An Ethiopian delegation led by Finance minister Ahmed Shide has departed Addis Ababa today after two days of high-level talks in Hargeisa.
The Somaliland Government did not comment on the Ethiopian delegation visit, but sources reveal the Ethiopian delegation has met on Wednesday night Somaliland’s government officials to discuss ways to expand the bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Somaliland.
Ethiopia is Somaliland’s key ally in the horn of Africa. The two countries have partnered with the DP World and the government of the United Arab Emirates to rebuild the port of Berbera which plays a key role in the maritime connections between the horn and the middle east.
Ethiopia owns 19 per cent shares of the Berbera Port, Somaliland has 30 per cent while DP World enjoys a 51 per cent stake.
The UAE and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Construction company are also building a 250-kilometre dual carriageway between the city of Berbera and the Ethiopian border town of Togochale.
On the other hand, The visit comes a day after Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi turned down a visit by President of Somalia Mohamed Abdilahi Farmajo, which was reportedly proposed by Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed.
While addressing a joint session of Parliament in Hargeisa, President Bihi said: “We will not allow President Farmaajo to come to Hargeisa”.
On 15 February, Unconfirmed source indicates a proposed visit to Hargeisa by Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed and Somalia President Mohamed Abdilahi Farmaajo on the initiative of the PM.
On 11 February, Presidents of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi and SomaliaMohamed Abdilahi Farmajo met Ethiopia for first-ever high-level direct face-to-face meeting reportedly brokered by Ethiopian Prime minister Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali.
This is a developing story, Please check back at the Horndiplomat for Updates.