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Former Somali Prime Minister urges full support for Turkey-Somalia defense pact

Friday February 23, 2024 Former Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has urged the Somali people and politicians to fully support the Turkey-Somalia defense and economic cooperation agreement to protect the country.

Speaking to local media on Thursday, Roble described the agreement as historic and important for both countries, emphasizing that it will enhance the security and development of Somalia.

“This agreement protects Somalia from all obstacles, whether countries stealing fish, engaging in unauthorized activities in our seas, pirates harming our people, or foreign interference. The rebuilding of our naval force will benefit Somalia,” he said.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud enacted the ten-year Turkey-Somalia Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement on Thursday, following its approval by the country’s executive and legislative branches.

The Turkish Defense Ministry also stated that Turkey would assist Somalia in developing its maritime security under a defense cooperation deal signed in Ankara earlier this month.

“Upon Somalia’s request, we will provide support in the field of maritime security, as we did in the fight against terrorism,” a senior official from the Turkish Defense Ministry told reporters. “Hence we will help Somalia develop its capacity and capabilities to combat illegal and irregular activities in its territorial waters.”

The new agreement comes amid increasing tension between Somalia and Ethiopia, sparked by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Ethiopia and Somalia’s breakaway Somaliland region. Somalia has strongly rejected the MOU, alleging that Ethiopia aims to annex parts of Somalia’s territory. President Hassan Sheikh has voiced this concern at African Union meetings and on other occasions.

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