Somalia inks deal with Turkey to deter Ethiopia's access to sea through a breakaway region

Somalia announced last week a defense deal with Türkiye to enhance bilateral relations and the stability of the region.

The Defense and Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement was formalized during an official visit by Somali Defense Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur to Ankara, where he met with his Turkish counterpart, Yaşar Güler.

During the meeting, exchanges of views on bilateral and regional defense and security issues took place, and a defense and economic cooperation framework agreement was signed between the two countries.

“During our meetings, which took place in a very cordial environment and further strengthened our relations, we reiterated the importance we attach to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia,” Güler said after the meeting, adding the determination of both parties to further strengthen their bilateral military cooperation.

Nur pointed out that “We believe that this agreement will contribute a lot to Somalia.”

As it is reported from various media, Nur’s visit to the capital holds added significance against the backdrop of simmering tensions in the Horn of Africa.

A recent agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia, has led to heightened tensions in the region.

Ethiopia has struck recently a “historic” port agreement, as Shipping Telegraph reported in January, with Somaliland for sea access.

The agreement “shall pave the way to realise the aspiration of Ethiopia to secure access to the sea and diversify its access to seaports,” Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed office posted on X.

Officials also said that this agreement paves the way to allow Ethiopia to have access to a leased military based on the Red Sea.

Abiy’s national security advisor Redwan Hussein said Ethiopia would have access to a “leased military base on the Red Sea” as part of the agreement.

The agreement paves the way to allow Ethiopia to have commercial marine operations in the region by giving it access to a leased military base on the Red Sea, Redwan Hussien noted.

Details of that agreement have not been made public, but Somalia sees such a deal as an act of aggression.