Somaliland government says it remains committed in finding a lasting solution in the stalled talks with Somalia.
Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. Yasin Haji Mohamud Hiir Faraton however said Somalia must also show its commitment to the talks which restarted early in the year in Djibouti but have since stalled.
The minister said: “Every one knew Somaliland’s participation in the dialogue, and was ready to resolve the dispute between the two countries, Somalia ruined it, if they show any new interest to discuss, Somaliland is ready.”
“We want a lasting solution to this because we want to move on as a country. We have so many internal matters to handle including providing better livelihood to our people, building our infrastructure and our economy. But it is also important that we live in peace with our neighbours, Somalia being one of them.”
Somalia and Somaliland, have been locked in a decades-long standoff over Somaliland’s 1991 claim of independence and Mogadishu’s rejection of it.
In June, thanks to a push from the United States and the European Union and initiated by Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Somalia’s President Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” and Somaliland President Muse Bihi met in Djibouti for a fresh round of talks.
During the meeting, the Somaliland president said peace and reconciliation between the two countries will only be achieved if Somalia and by extension the international community recognized his country’s sovereignty and independence.
“The act of recognizing and supporting the independence of Somaliland would go a long way to heal the wounds of the past and enable our two states to embrace each other in our independent but closely interwoven futures,” he said.
The two sides have met in at least in seven rounds in London, Dubai, Ankara, Istanbul and Addis Ababa.
But both sides have fundamentally been at odds over Somaliland’s claim to sovereignty. This impasse, in turn, has bled into disputes over territory, the management of resources and security cooperation.
Mogadishu’s relationship with Somaliland, frosty ever since the latter broke away from Somalia in 1991, has suffered in recent years as the federal government sought to curtail Somaliland’s relations with international actors on a number of fronts.
But Somaliland foreign minister says his country remains open to sincere dialogue.