President Sisi, Eritrean counterpart stress need to respect Somalia sovereignty

Ahram Online , Saturday 24 Feb 2024

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki discussed on Saturday the latest developments in the Horn of Africa, where they stressed the need to respect the sovereignty of Somalia.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi receives his Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afwerki in Cairo, 24 February 2024. Photo: Egyptian Presidency


Tensions in the Horn of Africa have escalated after Somaliland agreed in January to lease 20 kilometres of its coast for 50 years to Addis Ababa, which wants to set up a naval base and a commercial port in that area, giving the landlocked Ethiopia long-desired access to the Red Sea.

Following this deal, Egypt reasserted that it would stand by Somalia and support its security and stability, emphasizing the need to respect its sovereignty over its lands.

During a meeting in Cairo, both presidents further discussed the situation in Sudan, where they emphasized the importance of joint work between Egypt and Eritrea within the framework of the Sudan Neighbouring Countries Path.

They also stressed the need to reach a serious solution to the crisis in Sudan, including a ceasefire, that would end the humanitarian suffering of the Sudanese people, to meet their aspirations and hopes for achieving security, stability, and development of their homeland.

More than 13,000 people have been killed since the Sudanese crisis began in April, according to a conservative estimate by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, while the UN says more than eight million people have been displaced.

Gaza war

El-Sisi and Afwerki also discussed developments in the Red Sea and the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Both presidents stressed the importance of de-escalation and containing the current situation, and the need to reach an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in a way that would pave the way for full and sustainable humanitarian access to the strip.

Since 7 October, Israel has continued its brutal and relentless war in the Gaza Strip, launching overnight and early morning assaults. At least 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed and nearly 70,000 wounded in the Israeli war, while over 2 million have been displaced.

During the meeting, the two presidents emphasized the necessity of launching a path to the two-state solution that would lead to establishing an independent Palestinian state.

Moreover, both sides affirmed their keenness to continue developing bilateral relations and cooperation in economic, trade, and security fields.

The meeting also touched on increasing trade between the two countries and Egyptian investment in Eritrea.

Early Saturday, El-Sisi received the Eritrean president at El-Ittihadiya Palace in Cairo, where the national anthems of both countries were played and honour guards welcomed Afwerki.

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