Somali Parliament Approves Defense and Blue Economy Agreement with Turkey

Published: February 21, 2024

Mogadishu, Somalia – February 21, 2024 – The Somali Parliament today overwhelmingly approved a landmark agreement with Turkey that grants Ankara control over Somalia’s vast maritime resources and tasks the Turkish military with securing the country’s coastline, one of the longest in Africa.

The agreement, which was today approved by the Somali cabinet, was presented to Parliament by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a closed-door session today. After a briefing by the President, parliamentarians from both houses voted overwhelmingly in favor of the deal, paving the way for its official signing .

Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, Turkey will:

  • Assume responsibility for securing Somali waters and combatting crimes like illegal fishing, arms trafficking, human trafficking, and piracy.
  • Play a key role in promoting Somalia’s Blue Economy, which encompasses the exploration and development of the country’s marine resources.
  • Assist in training and building Somalia’s navy, bolstering the country’s capacity to safeguard its territorial waters.

Speaking to the press after the parliamentary vote, President Mohamud hailed the agreement as a critical step towards securing Somalia’s maritime interests and fostering economic development. He emphasized the unique nature of the deal, highlighting Turkey’s longstanding commitment to supporting Somalia during times of crisis.

“Somalia faces immense challenges at sea, from piracy and resource theft to illegal dumping and territorial disputes,” President Mohamud stated. “This agreement with Turkey, a close friend and steadfast partner, will enable us to address these issues head-on. We are confident that this collaboration will not only enhance our maritime security but also unlock the vast potential of our Blue Economy.”

The President also addressed the ongoing dispute with neighboring Ethiopia, expressing hope for a peaceful resolution. He reiterated Somalia’s commitment to defending its territorial integrity and urged Ethiopia to refrain from claims on Somali land.

The agreement with Turkey marks a significant step in Somalia’s efforts to secure its future. With enhanced maritime security and the potential for unlocking its Blue Economy.

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