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Farmaajo-Kenyatta talks ease diplomatic standoff

Storyline:National News

Somalia and Kenya have restored diplomatic ties following a month’s long-simmering of tensions between the two countries, the Presidency has said.

Villa Somalia said a statement following talks between President Mohamed Farmajo and his Kenyan counterpart mediated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed the two countries had resolved to bury the hatchet.

“The agenda of the talks was limited to the resolution of diplomatic solutions, and the Presidents agreed to restore and strengthen the relations and co-operation between the two countries, based on mutual respect and co-operation,” the statement read in part.

The office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister also confirmed the resumption of relations between the two countries following talks in Nairobi.

“Through the leadership of PM Abiy Ahmed, @UKenyatta & @M_Farmaajo met this morning to discuss extensively on the source of the two countries dispute. As an outcome both agreed to work towards peace & to take measures in addressing particular issues that escalated the tensions.”

It was not immediately clear if the two leaders explored the possibility of a negotiated settlement regarding the maritime border row which Kenya has been keen on. In its subsequent statements, Kenya has pushed for out of court settlement in the maritime case but Somalia has maintained it was not interested noting the International Court of Justice should be left to arbitrate on the matter.

“..Although the Government of Somalia disagrees with the Minister Juma’s characterization of the Parties’ maritime boundary dispute, this is not the proper occasion for addressing those issues. They are before the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and will be decided in due course consistent with international law,” Somalia said in its second response to Kenya February 25.