Somalia and Somaliland sign "Ankara Communique"

Communique foresees continuation of talks between Somalia and Somaliland

Communique foresees continuation of talks between Somalia and Somaliland

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday 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 met 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.

Somaliland, a former British colony, declared independence unilaterally in 1991 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.

-Ankara Communique-

The two Presidents who also met tete-a-tete in the Ankara Palace announced that their dialogue process will continue and they will meet once again this time in Istanbul within the next three months in the Ankara Communique released at the end of the meetings.

The Ankara Communique which includes the results of the meetings between the technical delegations of the parties during the last three days in Istanbul was signed by Minister Abdikarim H. Guled on behalf of Somalia and Minister Mohamed A. Omar on behalf of Somaliland in the presence of Prime Minister Erdogan and the two Presidents.

In the Communique, it is stated that the purpose of the Ankara meeting is to reopen the dialogue after the change in the leadership of the Somali Federal Republic, and to establish a way forward for the dialogue.

Moreover the agreement concerning the encouragement and facilitation of international aid and development provided to Somaliland is also cited in the Communique where the parties commit to refrain from using any inflammatory language and any other act which may put the continuation of the dialogue at risk.

Parties will share intelligence and cooperate in the fight against terrorism, extremism, piracy, illegal fishing toxic dumping, maritime crime and serious crime, stated in the Communique.

The meeting in Ankara is of importance that the meeting was the first comprehensive presidential meeting between Somalia and Somaliland. Turkey within close cooperation with the parties will continue to provide every assistance to ensure peaceful settlement of the issues through dialogue.

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