Amidst diplomatic port row between Somalia and Ethiopia, Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said his country will protect Somalia against any threat.
The Egyptian president, who described the port agreement as an indirect response to recent Ethiopia’s move to access the seaport of Somaliland.
Sissi held talks in Cairo on Sunday with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
In a news conference after their meeting, El-Sissi rejected a deal that was signed earlier this month between Ethiopia and the breakaway region of Somaliland to give landlocked Ethiopia access to its coast.
He also emphasized Egypt’s willingness to support Somalia in defending the sovereignty of its land.
“We will not allow anyone to threaten Somalia or come near Somalia. I am saying this very clearly, don’t test Egypt and try to threaten its brothers, especially if our brothers asked us to be with them,” El-Sissi said.
Somaliland, a region strategically located by the Gulf of Aden, broke away from Somalia in 1991 as the country collapsed into warlord-led conflict.
The region has maintained its own government despite its lack of international recognition.
Somalia’s president, who also met with the Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Saturday, stated that his country will not allow any deal on the Red Sea without its consent.
“Somalia is privileged to have a large geopolitical stake in it (the Red Sea) and will not allow an inch of this territory to be seized by another state without a consent of the Somali sovereign state,” he said.