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Eritrea Requests Turkish Mediation

Posted by Ethio Tribune on November 16, 2012

At the request of Eritrea, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmed Ogle, is expected to arrive in Asmara soon to help reconcile the Eritrean regime with the Somali government.

The minister will be flying in from one of the regional countries after Ethiopia denied him permission to fly directly to Asmara through the airspace of its territories.

Turkey has been aggressively improving its ties with countries of the Horn of Africa and it has around $1.5 billion worth of investment in Ethiopia, its largest investment in the region.

In Somalia, Turkey has considerable activity and, currently, over one thousand Turkish workers and business persons are involved in many projects, mainly in construction.

Turkish Airlines, recently assuming the highest rank in the world for number of countries it has for destination,  flies to all capitals of the Horn of Africa countries except to Eritrea.

In his visit to Magadisho on Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Minister had talks with Somalia president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and also met Somali lawmakers at the parliament house where he announced that his country will rebuild the Somali parliament house.

Last month, South Sudan foreign minister announced that his country will mediate between Eritrea and Ethiopia to end the two countries conflict that began over 12 years ago. Neither Eritrea or Ethiopia confirmed the news.

Gedab News has learned that South Sudan’s mediation proposal to the two countries was not rejected outright for “diplomatic niceties”, but the Eritrean government doesn’t believe South Sudan has any leverage or clout to make such an undertaking successful.

Downplaying the South Sudan initiative, the Eritrean government has sought Turkish intervention to first help it establish ties with the new Somali government.

The Eritrean government is suffering from the UN sanctions imposed on it for supporting the Al Shabab armed group and destabilizing the Somali government as well as for refusing to acknowledge its border conflict with Djibouti which it subsequently, secretly, invited Qatar to mediate.

(source: awate)

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