Foreign Minister said the Military base agreement was between Somaliland/UAE governments, and not between Somalia & UAE”
By Mahmoud Qodah
Hargeisa (Somaliland Monitor) – In an interview with GEESKA AFRIKA Newspaper, Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire defended Somaliland’s rightfulness to reach a bilateral agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on establishing a military base in the Port city of Berbera as well a $442 million joint venture deal with the Dubai-based DP World to upgrade the port in Berbera, and create a world-class regional trading hub along the Red Sea coast.
Dr. Sa’ad emphasized that the recent visit to UAE by Somalia President Farmajo can have completely no effect on their signed agreements with the UAE for the reality is that Somaliland and Somalia are two different and separate states, as such Somalia’s president visit to UAE doesn’t concern Somaliland, but was to bolster his country’s ties with the UAE.
“Somalia President’s visit to UAE concerned the interest of his country, but not the good interest and issues related to Somaliland Republic. Farmajo is not a president for Somaliland. He is the president of Somalia, and not Somaliland. Somaliland is not under the control of Somalia government, as such no one can have a say on its own affairs, except those legitimately elected by its own people which is the government of Somaliland. The recent military base agreement is between the government of Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and not between Somalia and UAE. As such the fact is that there is nothing to worry about.” Said Somaliland Minister for Foreign & International Cooperation,
In an answer to whether his government is closely watching over a motion purportedly planned by Somalia Parliament which they intend to cancel Somaliland’s military base agreement with UAE government, he noted, “The military base is in the territorial jurisdiction of Somaliland Republic, so if they intended to go against it, truly they are in a daydream, and they are wasting of their time, for that they can change nothing.
During the last six months, Somaliland government signed into two long-term deals with the UAE to expand Berbera’s port as well establishing a military base in the same city. The two projects would bring nearly 700 million dollars in investment and might boast Somaliland’s economy.
On the other side, Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire, Somaliland Foreign Minister dismissed that the repeatedly delayed elections in Somaliland is the real reason that Somaliland won’t participate in London conference for Somalia which will be hosted by UK in May 11, 2017 and he said, “First and for most, London Conference doesn’t concern us. It is not a conference which is particular for Somaliland, but it is vice versa, as it will be particularly held for Somalia. This conference is going to be the 5th conference for Somalia. Somaliland did participate none of those previously held conferences for Somalia. It will be raised the interest of Somalia. So it is wrong to say Somaliland is exempted from a conference which will be held for Somalia due to election delays.”
Speaking about how election delays may have a negative impact on Somaliland’s future relationship with international community, he stressed, “Elections have not been delayed without a reason. It is true that delayed elections will result discouragement, but also it is true that we liked elections to be held across the country, and for that it is likewise true that we couldn’t hold elections in March of this year due to the severe drought conditions in the country.”
He finally added that the status of Somaliland/international community relationship is the same, as there is nothing changed.
“Somaliland has a good relationship with international community, as we always like to strengthen and improve Somaliland’s relationship status with regional states as well international community, for that we want to persuade them to finally recognize the reality of Somaliland’s case and grant us a well-deserved recognition. International community currently treats Somaliland as a separate state for that it had ticked all the prerequisite condition for statehood,” Foreign Minister added.