President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt expressed his country’s unwavering support for Somalia during a meeting with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud on Sunday 21 January.
The leaders discussed bilateral cooperation and regional developments, with President Sisi emphasizing Egypt’s opposition to Ethiopia’s illegal encroachment on the territories of other countries.
He made it clear that Egypt did not object to Ethiopia’s access to the sea through Somalia, Eritrea, or Djibouti, as long as it was done lawfully.
During a joint press conference, President Sisi congratulated Somalia on its progress in eradicating terrorism, canceling debts, and lifting the ban on arms and military equipment supply. He affirmed that the discussions covered various aspects of political, economic, and military cooperation between Egypt and Somalia.
President Sisi’s remarks came in response to Ethiopia’s consideration of recognizing Somaliland’s claim for independence in exchange for access to the port of Berbera. This potential deal has raised tensions in the region and sparked concerns among neighboring countries.
Egypt, already having strained relations with Ethiopia due to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, made its stance clear. President Sisi firmly stated that Egypt would not tolerate any threats to Somalia’s security and warned against underestimating Egypt’s commitment to its Arab League membership.
He cautioned Ethiopia against attempting to seize land or control territories, emphasizing that cooperation and development were more favorable approaches.
Ethiopia, however, rejected Egypt’s criticism, asserting that the agreement with Somaliland was a commercial arrangement aimed at securing sea access rather than an attempt to annex land.
As the situation unfolds, Egypt’s strong support for Somalia sends a clear message of solidarity and its determination to protect the security and interests of its regional allies.