PM Hailemariam and Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohammed both agreed to forge closer economic and diplomatic ties during a three day visit in Addis last week.
They took several steps toward cementing their relationship; committing to implementing previously signed agreements, creating a high level joint cooperation committee and working to encourage the free movement of goods and services between Somalia and Ethiopia.
They also made plans to start direct flights between Addis and Mogadishu and public transportation between the two countries.
PM Hailemariam also expressed appreciation for the commitment made by Somalia’s government and leaders of federal member states to tackle security problems, including boosting Somalia’s security forces and revitalizing Somalia’s campaign to defeat Al- Shabaab.
“When Somalia is in trouble, Ethiopia is in trouble so fighting terrorism is a job for both of us. We will work even harder to do what we have been doing to eliminate Al- Shabaab. Somalia’s security forces need to be stronger and we will do whatever it takes to help them,” he said.
“Al-Shabaab is a disease, they don’t want us to develop and they terrorize our people. We must eliminate them and develop our country. We need consistent help from Ethiopia, Kenya and other neighbors to get our security forces up to par,” he said.
Both leaders expressed their concern about the return of piracy on the Indian Ocean, urging the international community to redouble efforts to support the Somalia National Coast Guard and increase the capability of the Somalia Police Forces. They also called on the upcoming London Conference on Somalia to recognize Somalia’s ownership of the process, and to accommodate Somalia’s peace and development objectives as well as to consider a new partnership agreement between Somalia and the international community.