Kenya, Somalia Hold Talks Mediated by Egypt
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, current African Union (AU) chair, held a trilateral summit in New York on Wednesday, including Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta.
The summit was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings.
There is a landmark dispute between the two neighboring countries over the demarcation of maritime borders, and the International Court of Justice will rule on the case.
The disputed area is 100,000 square kilometer stretch of sea floor. In January, the conflict erupted again when Mogadishu announced selling offshore oil fields at an auction in London.
Egyptian Presidency Spokesman Bassam Radi said the trilateral summit was held at both countries’ request due to Egypt’s distinguished relation with them, pointing out that the summit discussed disputed bilateral issues.
Sisi hinted during talks that his country enjoys fraternal relations with Somalia and Kenya.
He stressed that the three countries’ historical ties and common interests was an incentive for Egypt to hold to the summit, not only because it presides the AU but also because of its keenness to maintain cordial and fraternal relations between the Kenyan and Somali sides.
According to Radi, the President was briefed on the two countries’ visions regarding the controversial issues.
Both countries agreed to form a committee to immediately begin the procedures to restore confidence and settle the disputes in preparation for normalizing the relations,” Radi noted.
Kenya and Somalia have not been able to demarcate their maritime borders since Somalia's independence in 1960.
Meanwhile, Sisi also participated in another trilateral summit with Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh and Kenya’s Kenyatta.
The summit tackled special regional issues and the work to bring the different views closer.
During the summit, Radi said, it was agreed that the East African region is passing through a significant phase in light of the major current challenges it has been facing.
The three parties also agreed on the importance of working together to overcome these challenges and join efforts to focus on joint action, especially in the fight against terrorism and the development and prosperity of the region’s peoples, Radi added.