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Former Somali Prime Minister calls for unity in supporting Somalia-Turkey defense pact

Thursday February 22, 2024 {HMC} Former Prime Minister and ex-President of Puntland State, Abdiwali Mohamed Ali Gas, urged Somali politicians to support the federal government in its defense and economic cooperation agreement with Turkey.

Mr. Gas emphasized that the agreement is in the interest of the country’s ability to secure its sea, prevent illegal fishing, and combat piracy. He also called for this agreement not to be politicized and urged support for the country’s leaders in defending unity and preventing any threats.

“Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa, yet cannot defend against piracy, toxic dumping, and foreign invasion,” said the former Prime Minister.

Somali Cabinet approved the “Defense and Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement” on Wednesday. Shortly after the Cabinet approval, the two houses of Somalia’s parliament voted to endorse the pact in a 213-3 vote.

President Mohamud noted Turkey is already helping Somalia with humanitarian assistance, budgetary support and the training of security forces.

The new agreement comes amid increasing tension between Somalia and Ethiopia, sparked by signing a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, between Ethiopia and Somalia’s breakaway Somaliland region.

The Somali government has vehemently opposed the agreement, alleging that Ethiopia aims to annex parts of Somalia’s territory. President Hassan Sheikh has voiced this concern at African Union meetings and other occasions.

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