Addis Ababa, September 29, 2022 (Walta) – Ethiopian and Somali leaders signaled on Wednesday that the neighbors will place more emphasis on economic ties in the near future.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hosted Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud on a two-day working visit to the capital Addis Ababa, his first trip to Ethiopia since taking office in May.
Over the past decades, Ethiopia has been at the forefront of regional support for Somalia’s fight against al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group.
While Ethiopia retains a key role in the African Union Mission in Somalia which is engaged in operations against al-Shabaab, Abiy told Mahmoud that Addis Ababa is keen to continue economic cooperation with Mogadishu.
He affirmed that Ethiopia was ready to work at different levels with the new Somali government “with particular emphasis on economic growth”, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.
“He further reiterated that Ethiopia desires a stronger and more stable Somalia which is helpful for Ethiopia,” the statement said.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud expressed his gratitude for the “sacrifices” Ethiopia has made for “a better Somalia, and underscored the importance of working together to address the common challenges facing the two countries”, he said. he added.
As he began his second day of official working visit to Ethiopia, he thanked Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration for the “warm welcome” extended to him and his delegation.