Somalia Prime Mnister Hassan Ali Khaire on Wednesday denied entering an agreement with Ethiopia that would see the landlocked country have shares in four sea ports in the horn of Africa country.
Speaking in the Norwegian capital Oslo where he adressed the Somali community in the diaspora Khaire said Ethiopia had “taken nothing” from Somalia contrary to a communique released by the Federal Government confirming an agreement.
“We did not enter any agreement with Ethiopia. We issued a communique. Ports belong to Somali people” Khaire said.
Last week Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy was in Mogadishu to seal the deal.
In the meet between President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and PM Ahmed the two announced they were jointly investing in four seaports to attract foreign investment to their two countries, the latest move in a tussle for access to ports along one of the world’s most strategic waterways.
After Somalia’s president The two leaders issued a joint statement of pledges to cooperate on everything from the development of infrastructure including roads linking the two countries.
The agreement was however received with mix reaction among Somalis with some accusing the government of “selling” the country’s natural resources to Ethiopia.
Farmaajo has defended the port deal with Ethiopia saying Somalia needed to walk past historical grievances and chart new page based on economic integration.
“This is a vision that I charted for Somalia and I trust in it” Farmaajo said.