Cairo (diplomat.so) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received, on Sunday at the Ittihadiya Palace in Cairo, his Somali counterpart, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and discussed with him strengthening bilateral relations, enhancing cooperation, and addressing regional issues in the Horn of Africa.
Following a closed-door meeting, President El-Sisi, alongside President Mohamud, convened a press conference in the palace hall. During the briefing, President El-Sisi remarked, "In Somalia, significant achievements have been realized under the leadership of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, particularly in the areas of counterterrorism, debt relief, and the lifting of the arms embargo imposed on the nation. Over the years, Somalia has made significant progress, and our longstanding relationship with them is one of historical significance and mutual contentment."
Elaborating on the discussions, President El-Sisi stated, "Our bilateral talks were marked by constructive dialogue, addressing the enhancement of political, economic, security, and military relations. Egypt remains committed to advancing its ties with Somalia, a fellow Arab and African nation, across various domains with unwavering determination."
Touching upon recent regional developments, President El-Sisi expressed concern about the memorandum of understanding signed between Ethiopia and the Somaliland administration. He categorically rejected the agreement, citing potential harm to the unity and sovereignty of Somalia. "Our position is crystal clear: cooperation and development should take precedence over any other considerations. Illegal incursions into sovereign territory by any nation, including Ethiopia, are unacceptable and non-negotiable," he emphasized.
President El-Sisi invoked the League of Arab States Charter, affirming Somalia's right to collective defense against threats. He asserted, "We stand in solidarity with Somalia and will not tolerate any form of aggression against their sovereignty. Our commitment to supporting Somalia in its endeavors for growth and reconstruction is resolute."
Reflecting on Somalia's journey since 1991, President El-Sisi acknowledged the challenges the country faced over the past three decades. "Despite enduring crises, Somalia's economy is witnessing growth, a testament to the resilience of its 25 million people," he concluded.