By: Abdalle Ahmed
Somalilandsun – Both Somalia’s federal government and Somaliland have accepted to attend newly established talks in Turkey changing the talks table from London to Istanbul.
In a press conference in Hargeysa last week, Somaliland foreign minister Mohamud Abdullahi Omar confirmed that Somaliland administration has received the invitation letter from the Turkish prime minister to come to Turkey for talks with the Somali federal government.
He pointed out that Turkish role was very clear due to its interest towards Somali territory.
In 2012, both sides have started the first formal talks in London and were mediated by the British government but the minister did not make clear why the talks were transferred from London to Istanbul. The Somaliland voice came days after the administration has rejected to participate the upcoming London Conference on Somalia.
According to sources the new round of the talks between Somalia federal government and Somaliland administration were still the works of the Britons. The British pressured Somaliland either to attend to London Conference II which is dated on May 7th, or agree to some sort of meeting with Somali Federal Government prior to the conference. This will give the upcoming conference some sort of unanimity for the Internationals to see. Meaning, that Somali Federal Government is for all the country, Puntland is here and the missing Somalilanders are not here for technical reasons but they were in Istanbul just yesterday.
With due to the pressure from British government, the Somaliland administration has principally agreed the nature of the negotiation but has brought conditions, which include;-
– That Somali Federal Government led by president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud should recognize “crimes committed” against the people in Somaliland.
– That the talks between the two sides [Somali Federal Government and Somaliland] will focus on areas of cooperation such as borders, security and trade.
– That no discussions on sovereignty, unity etc will be put in the agenda.
On its turn, the British government suggested that the two sides’ talks should be held in one of the following countries Qatar, UAE or Turkey to avoid that new talks might taint London atmosphere days before the London Conference II, whereby the two sides finally agreed to hold talks in Turkey.
Meanwhile London suggested that the Final Communique of the Turkey meeting will be drafted between Somali Federal Government, UK, Somaliland and some input from Turkey in the development areas as the outcome shall be one of positive. Meanwhile all sides were asked to submit their inputs before April 15.
According to a diplomatic sources Somali Federal Government is reportedly on hectic days on the internal disputes with Jubbaland administration formation process and by that way Turkish government will submit on its behalf.