Somaliland cabinet has refuted media reports that it approved a joint visit by Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo and Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed to Hargeisa but a senior federal politician from the break-away region has confirmed the meeting.
Jamal Mohamed, the secretary to the cabinet told journalists there was no official sanction of such a meeting by the cabinet dismissing reports of the planned visit. He was responding to reports that plans were underway and endorsed by the break-away region to host the two leaders.
But even as Mohamed dismissed the planned meeting, former federal deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister Fauzia Haji Adan (MP) said she had received information from well placed sources within Somaliland government of the meeting.
“I welcome President Mohamed Farmaajo’s visit to Somaliland. This is a step to building on the talks between the two sides,” said Adan.
Fauzia who served as Deputy PM between 2012 and 2014 said she had learnt of the meeting from sources within Somaliland government. Somaliland Upper House speaker Suleiman Mohamud Aden also hinted on the meeting but noted there was no agreement on it taking place.
Aden said Ethiopian PM had been pushing for the meeting but ‘we turned down the proposal.
There was no official confirmation from either Mogadishu or Hargeisa regarding the meeting but the reports come barely a week after President Farmaajo met with Somaliland President Muse Bihi in the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa.
Villa Somalia confirmed the meeting noting it was hosted by Ethiopian PM.