President Uhuru meets Somalia leader, mend relations

Thursday, September 26th, 2019 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/File

Egyptian President  Abdel Fattah El-Sisi brought together President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo in the United States.

Their meeting did not,  however, discuss  the  ongoing maritime border dispute at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Relations between Nairobi and Mogadishu have been at an all-time low with the two neighbouring states engaging in counter-accusations over alleged spying and “lack of respect for each other’s sovereignty”.

According to the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU), the two  leaders discussed matters of mutual interest to the two nations and the African continent as a whole.

President Uhuru welcomed and thanked President El-Sisi for the meetings saying Kenya has always advocated dialogue and would continue to push for dialogue in the spirit of maintaining cohesion of the African continent.

He said as a continent,  Africa should always seek African solutions for African challenges.

Yesterday, Somalia said the meeting brokered by President  El-Sisi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, was only the first step in a bid to normalise relations between the two sides.

 Sisi, the current chairman of the African Union (AU), arranged the meeting after Kenya requested an out-of-court negotiations through the continental bloc over the maritime boundary dispute. The hearing of the case was scheduled to start on November 9.

Normalise relations

“Somalia and Kenya have agreed to work towards normalising relations without any implications for the maritime case at the ICJ, which will take its full course after President El-Sisi convened a tripartite meeting on the margins of UNGA,” said Farmajo’s spokesman Mohamed Abdinur.

“Strong neighbourly relations are important for the stability, economic development and people-to-people relations.

Somalia welcomes the opportunity to work towards normalising relations with Kenya, as neighbours and partners, for a better common future,” read a statement posted on Somali government twitter page.

President Sisi also convened another meeting between Presidents Uhuru and his Djibouti counterpart Ismail Omar Guelleh.

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