Hargeisa (The Horn)- The minister of foreign affairs Dr.Saad Ali Shire has spoken about the tripartite agreement. He confirmed that the road connecting Berbera to Wajale will begin later this year. The minister was speaking to the Horn Newspapers in an exclusive interview this is the dossier of the interview…..
Geeska Afrika: The Ethiopian minister of Transport said that despite his country gain of 19% stake at Berbera port that does not mean that his country has recognized Somaliland. He went further to say that agreement is a trade deal between the two countries what do you confirm or deny about the Ethiopian minister sentiments?
Foreign Minister: We always had a special relationship with Ethiopia.
The two countries are neighbors and it is the policy of the Somaliland government to have good relations with her neighbor furthermore we have been doing business with Ethiopia since the time of immemorial.
It is our responsibility to have friendship with our neighbors.
Q: Do you think time has come for Somaliland to match her trade deficit with Ethiopia following their gain of 19% stake at Berbera International Port?
A:No. First and foremost our biggest handicap is that we are an import economy we simply manufacture nothing and for the time being to underscore that challenge is a daunting task. Another obstacle is that we do not export much, we used to export livestock but for now there is a ban. This is dangerous it will always affect the value of our Shilling. This has to change we have to start to invest in the agriculture economy so that our country can become self sufficient.
Q: Since the tripartite agreement was signed the Somalia parliament has become a thorn in the flesh to Somaliland aspirations of self determination. How do you gauge the situation?
A: They are just making noises that have no purpose. By the way Somalia has no jurisdiction over Somaliland so their parliament should not waste their valuable time to discuss Somaliland a democratic country with her own president, parliament and independent judiciary.
Q: How about the Somaliland and Somalia talks are you going to engage with your adversaries or you are simply going to bide your time?
A: We are going to bide our time until we can see a climate conducive to us to engage with Somalia and until then we will sit on our laurels.
Q: Can we say that the tripartite agreement has opened a can of worms in the diplomatic circles for instance the Somalia government is opposed to the agreement and hence have support from Qatar and Turkey whereas Somaliland is supported by UAE?
A: It is simply we will put our eggs where they will hatch. For example 50% of our trade is done with the UAE and 90% of our livestock
goes to Saudi Arabia so you can see we have to take care of our
Q: Please tell us about the relationship between our country Turkey
and Qatar is frosty or cordial?
A: Somaliland foreign policy is straightforward we build bridges not
walls we would love to have the best relationship with every country in the planet.
Q: Can you give us a tit bit of information about the UAE military base?
A: The military camp will soon be established and mid this year the Berbera-Wajale road will commence construction.
Q: Somaliland has passed many metamorphosis to reach where it is today as the foreign minister what do you think is obstacle standing on the wayside of Somaliland International Recognition?
A: Somaliland has fulfilled all requirements for independence and what remains is the world to acknowledge us and recognize us.