Turkey seeks dialogue between Somalia and autonomous region

Turkish foreign minister meets presidents of Somali and Somaliland

Turkish foreign minister meets presidents of Somali and Somaliland

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and President of the autonomous region of Somaliland Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo in the second round of talks mediated by Turkey in capital Ankara.

Davutoglu gathered with Somali President Mohamud before the two joined Somaliland President Silanyo in a trilateral meeting, which was held behind closed doors.

Turkish diplomatic sources close to the meeting have said talks -- the first at the presidential level -- were aimed at devising dialogue channels and keeping them open to work out problems between Somalia and the autonomous region of Somaliland.

The two presidents were also scheduled to meet with their Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul as well as with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Somaliland, a former British colony, declared in 1991 independence from the Federal Republic of Somalia proclaiming the Somaliland Republic, which has been internationally unrecognised since then.

The autonomous region seeks recognition as a separate country, a demand rejected by Somalia which wants the northern region to be a part of a single Somali state.

Writing by Mert Bezgin

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