Egypt Pledges Support For Somalia Over Port Row Against Ethiopia

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Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has pledged his country’s support for Somalia, following a deep disagreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland over maritime access.

Ethiopia and Somali breakaway region had on Monday signed an agreement to use one of Somaliland’s seaports, prompting criticism and annoyance from Somalia.

Somalia, which considers Somaliland part of its territory, condemned the agreement as an act of “aggression” and a violation of its sovereignty.

Mogadishu promises to oppose it by all legal means.

Somaliland is part of Somalia under the Somali constitution, and this agreement, signed without any legal basis, defies the rules of the UN, AU, and IGAD,” said the Prime Minister.

Mogadishu had immediately recalled its ambassador to Addis Ababa for consultation and called on international institutions to force Ethiopia to abandon its Red Sea access project.

In a telephone call with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi assured that “Egypt will maintain a firm position alongside Somalia and support its security and stability”. Mr. Sissi’s spokesman, Ahmed Famy, added that the two leaders had also discussed “regional developments” and bilateral relations.

President Mohamud also spoke by telephone with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad, about bilateral and regional relations of mutual interest, the Somali presidency said.

The European Union criticized the agreement, demanding respect for Somalia’s “unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity”.

“This is essential for the peace and stability of the Horn of Africa region,” the EU said in a statement.