Somalia, Turkey Sign Historic Maritime Defense and Blue Economy Agreement

Published: February 21, 2024
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Prime Minister Hamsa Abdi Barre

Mogadishu, Somalia – On Wednesday, the Cabinet of the Federal Republic of Somalia approved a landmark agreement between Somalia and Turkey related to maritime defense cooperation and developing the blue economy.

Prime Minister Hamsa Abdi Barre, who chaired an emergency Cabinet meeting, described the pact as one of “destiny and legacy” for the Somali nation. He emphasized the deal’s importance for Somalia’s security and economic prosperity.

“This agreement will end the fear of terrorism, piracy, illegal fishing, poisoning and external threats. It will build, train and equip our navy to take over our maritime defense. And it will increase our marine productivity and blue economy,” Barre stated.

The Prime Minister thanked Turkey for its steadfast support during Somalia’s difficult times, including the current period where its sovereignty has been challenged.

Sources say the Somalia-Turkey agreement will last 10 years. Details are expected to be unveiled by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a closed-door parliamentary briefing today.

The deal comes on the heels of Ethiopia signing a separate memorandum of understanding with Somaliland, which gives Ethiopia usage of Zeila port in exchange for recognizing Somaliland’s contested authority. Somaliland is considered an autonomous region by Somalia and lacks international recognition.

Analysts see the Somalia-Turkey maritime pact as a bulwark against external threats and a catalyst for the country to leverage its vast maritime resources. Turkey has been a key ally for the Somali government in recent years.

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