Somalia and Kenya agree to ease diplomatic standoff
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has held talks with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta to restore diplomatic ties.
Mohamed and Kenyatta agreed to ease a month’s diplomatic standoff between Nairobi and Mogadishu over oil blocks row.
The talks were initiated by Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed.
Mr. Abiy Ahmed also confirmed the restoration of the relation between the two neighboring countries after tripartite summit in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
The tension escalated last month after Kenya recalled the ambassador to Somalia Lt. General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo to Nairobi over unilaterally auctioned off oil and gas blocks in a contested maritime area.
Nairobi has also at the same time ordered Somali ambassador Mohamed Ahmed Nour to return back to Mogadishu.
Kenya claimed the oil and gas auction took place in London, United Kingdom, on 7th February, 2019.
But, Somalia denies to have auctioned any oil blocks in a disputed section of the Indian Ocean, contrary to claims by Kenya.
In a statement, Somalia’s Foreign Minister Ahmad Isse Awad says it has not offered, nor does it have any plans to offer, any blocks in the disputed maritime area until International Court of Justice rendered it.
Mogadishu was referring to a case in which it sued Kenya at the international court, where Kenya is seeking to have the maritime border between the two to run parallel to the latitude eastward south of Kyunga.
Somalia wants it to run diagonally, as an extension of the land border.