November 4, 2010 ·32 Comments
HARGEISA (Somalilandpress) — President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud received a red carpet reception on his arrival in Djibouti on Wednesday in his first foreign trip since taking office in July.
He left Hargeisa on a commercial aircraft shortly after 2pm, to hold bilateral talks with the leader of Djibouti, President Ismael Omar Gelleh and his cabinet.
Cabinet members, chiefs of the armed forces and other top officials were at Egal International Airport to see off the President and his entourage.
The delegation includes foreign minister Dr Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, trade and industrialization Mr Abdirisaq Khalif Ahmed, minister of sports, youth and culture Mr Mohamed Haashi Madar, chief of staff Mr Hersi Ali Haji, first lady Amina Weris Mohamoud, Secretary General of Bank of Somaliland Abdi Dirir Abdi and presidential spokesman Mr Abdullahi Mohamed Dahir.
The Somaliland delegation were met at the Djibouti international airport by President Ismail Omar Gelleh, who for the first time welcomed them a red carpet and the guard of honor.
The two sides will discuss ways to strengthen security and trade ties between the two states. The security talks will include a broad range of issues including a recent secret landing of 200 rebels fighting against the Ethiopian government in northern Somaliland.
Djibouti has expressed deep concerns about the rebels trained in Eritrea and the Asmara government who continue to occupy Djibouti territory. Djibouti, Somaliland and Ethiopia are expected to conduct a counter-terrorism operation along their common borders.
President Omar Gelleh is also expected to address the Somaliland leader about a possible military uprise against his regime. Ever since trying to pressure the parliament into changing the constitution so that he could serve a third six-year, a low-key rebel group has been gaining support in the Afar dominated north. Now Me Gelleh feels pressured and needs support and cooperation from Hargeisa. So far the rebels have been clashing with military forces guarding the border with Eritrea almost every day.
In late April when Omar Gelleh tried to extend his term in office, an Afar-ethnic low-intensity anti-government rebellion started in the north of the country,
It is not clear how long their trip to Djibouti will last and if they will visit Ethiopia next. According to the press secretary, the President received official invitation from both Djibouti and Ethiopia days after he was sworn in.
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Somalilandpress | Thursday, 4 November 2010