Egypt reaffirms full support for Somalia amid rising regional tensions with Ethiopia

Source: Hiiraan Online, Monday May 27, 2024

Cairo, Egypt (HOL) – Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli has reiterated Egypt’s “full support” for Somalia, during a meeting with Somali Ambassador Elias Sheikh Omar Abu Bakr on Sunday at the Cabinet headquarters in the New Administrative Capital.

Madbouli stressed that Somalia’s stability is essential for achieving security, and stability in the region. He expressed his desire to strengthen cooperation between Egypt and Somalia and conveyed his best wishes to the Somali Prime Minister through Ambassador Abu Bakr.

Ambassador Abu Bakr, who is wrapping up his tenure in Egypt, thanked Egyptian institutions for their support. He emphasized Somalia’s ongoing need for Egyptian assistance, particularly given the political and security challenges it faces. 

The ambassador emphasized Cairo’s active role in assisting Mogadishu, stating that Somalia’s stability requires ongoing support from Arab nations, particularly Egypt. 

The reaffirmation of support comes amid heightened regional tensions involving Somalia and Ethiopia. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared in January that Egypt would not tolerate any threats to Somali security. His remarks were in response to Ethiopia’s agreement with Somaliland, which included establishing a maritime base and gaining access to the port of Berbera. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud denounced the deal as a violation of international law and sought regional support during his recent visit to Egypt, meeting with Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Al-Azhar Mosque’s Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb.

The development adds another layer of complexity to the already-strained relations between Egypt and Ethiopia, primarily due to disputes over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile. For over a decade, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have struggled to reach a consensus on the dam’s operation and filling, which remains a significant regional issue.