Somalia, Kenya agree to restore relations
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali and Kenyan presidents — Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Uhuru Kenyatta met in New York for the first time since March, agreeing to restore relations to the previous status, said in a statement released by Mogadishu.
Mogadishu says the meeting focused on ways to take diplomatic steps to build confidence between the two governments, amid frosty relations resulting from a maritime dispute.
The meeting was also attended by Egyptian leader Abdifatah Al Sisi.
The two countries agreed to form a joint committee to work on improving relations while the maritime case at ICJ court will stay its course, according to the statement.
The diplomatic relation soured when Nairobi expelled Somalia’s Ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Mohamoud Nour on Feb. 16, 2019 and recalled its envoy to Mogadishu.
Kenya has been campaigning to put diplomatic pressure on Somalia, in a bid to withdraw a maritime dispute case which Somalia filed to International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Kenya calls Somalia as ‘an enemy neighboring state’ which is trying to grab its natural resources.
Kenya also denied a plane from Mogadishu with Somali diplomats, including ministers and deputies over entry into Nairobi capital while heading to attend a high-level EU sponsored cross-border conflict management program.
But, Kenya’s aviation authorities described its move as “lack of visas.”
However, Somalia has shown more political maturity, calling on Kenya to respect the dispute maritime case with the ICJ and the diplomatic relations between Nairobi and Mogadishu.