Somalia, Somaliland presidents hold talks in Turkey
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu came together with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud and Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo on Saturday at the Ankara Palas in the Turkish capital of Ankara. No statement was released after the meeting. The two leaders were also scheduled to have talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish President Abdullah Gül after meeting with Davutoğlu.
Somalia wants Somaliland to be part a united country. But the territory, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has been a haven of relative peace amid the chaos and bloodshed in the country’s south, is seeking international recognition. The international community is urging the sides to find a negotiated solution.
Silanyo’s office has said the talks would focus on cooperation, including the fight against terrorism and piracy.
During his first diplomatic visit to Turkey in late December after taking office, Mohamud expressed his gratitude to the Turkish government and the nation for their support and aid and for instilling hope in Somalis. Mohamud, Somalia’s president since last September, was invited to Turkey by his counterpart, President Abdullah Gül.
Silanyo also visited Turkey in mid-March to have talks with Turkish officials, including Davutoğlu, who pledged to increase aid efforts to Somaliland. During his visit, Silanyo was also scheduled to meet with Erdoğan; however, the meeting had to be canceled due to Erdoğan’s poor health.