Underscoring the diplomatic significance of Somaliland, its President, Muse Bihi Abdi, has arrived in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, for an official state visit. The visit is of particular note as it follows a crucial agreement reached just days prior, to resume dialogue between the leaders of Somalia and Somaliland.

Historic Agreement Paves Way for Dialogue
With the mediation of Djibouti President Ismaël Omar Guelleh, the leaders of Somaliland and Somalia have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving longstanding disputes. The agreement was reached in a meeting in Djibouti, where Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and President Muse Bihi Abdi committed to creating a foundation for renewed discussions. These discussions are intended to address issues that have remained unresolved since the last dialogue session in June 2020.

High-level Support and Anticipation
Various high-level representatives, including those from Ethiopia, have lent their support to these talks. Upon his arrival at Bole International Airport, President Bihi was warmly welcomed by Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen, along with other senior government officials. These gestures highlight the significance Ethiopia attaches to its relationship with Somaliland.

A Visit with High Stakes
During his visit, President Abdi is expected to engage with various Ethiopian government officials to discuss regional and bilateral issues. The focus of these meetings is projected to center on security and trade cooperation. Key cabinet members have accompanied President Abdi, underlining the gravity of these discussions. This visit, following the recent agreement to resume dialogue, signifies the potential for increased regional stability and cooperation.

In a world fraught with conflict and division, the commitment of Somaliland and Somalia to dialogue is a beacon of hope. For Ethiopia, this visit represents an opportunity to play a constructive role in fostering peace and stability in the region.