AFRICANGLOBE – Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki is visiting Somalia for the first time in decades.
He has held talks with his Somali counterpart, President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed, in the capital, Mogadishu.
For many years Eritrea refused to recognise Somalia’s UN-backed government – because of its close ties to Ethiopia and Western powers.
But in the wake of the thaw in relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, things have improved throughout the region – mainly thanks to Ethiopia’s new leader Abiy Ahmed.
He ended a two-decade state of war with Eritrea and encouraged regional talks.
In July, President Mohamed visited Asmara where a tripartite peace agreement was signed between Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea
“President Isaias’s historic visit is part and parcel of the consultative tripartite summits of the heads of state and government of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia,” Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel said.
Eritrea had been accused of supporting Somalia al-Shabab militants – an allegation it always strenuously denied.
UN sanctions placed on Eritrea in 2009 because of these suspicions were lifted in November, citing a lack of evidence.
Mr Isaias is also expected to visit Nairobi to hold talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
By: Tesfalem Araia