Somaliland sets preconditions ahead of talks with Somalia


Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi met with delegations from Norway and Turkey in Hargeisa on Tuesday to discuss the resumption of talks between Somalia’s federal government and the breakaway region of Somaliland.

President Bihi reportedly affirmed that his government was ready for meaningful discussions but set seven preconditions before starting the two-sided talks.

President Bihi told the delegation that all previous agreements should be implemented if Somalia was sincere in relaunching talks, including finding an international mediation mechanism to guarantee the agreed provisions.

He suggested that an independent secretariat be established to manage the meetings.

President Bihi said there is a need for an agenda that clearly defines the conflict between the two sides to discuss the primary issues while laying the groundwork for meaningful dialogue.

On Monday, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with Turkish Ambassador Mehmet Yilmaz, Norwegian chargé d’affaires Haakon Svane, Turkey’s Special Representative Aykut Kumbarolu, and Norway’s Special Representative, Ms. Heidi Johansen in Mogadishu.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud welcomed the international diplomats for their commitment to supporting the restoration of Somalia and Somaliland talks.

President Mohamud said that his administration’s foreign policy doctrine, “ Somalia at peace with itself and the World,” is aligned to readdresses the decades-long Somaliland issue.

Somaliland first agreed to talk with the Somali government in 2012, but after several years of talks, no concrete results were achieved. Somaliland accused the former government of Somalia of withdrawing from the agreement.