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Somalia calls for formation joint team to smooth ties with Kenya

MOGADISHU (SD) – Somali foreign ministry has called for formation of a joint technical committee to facilitate the process to restore the diplomatic ties between Kenya and Somalia.

In a statement, the ministry said that the positive gesture from Kenya is a starting point to commence negotiations aimed at full normalisation of diplomatic relations.

“The two brotherly nations have always collaborated in security, trade and mutual cultural relations which are based on common interests, good neighborliness, respect for sovereignty and political indolence,” the statement said.

Kenya said the end to the ban was a goodwill gesture in the hope it will lead to the full normalization of relations with Somalia.

Last Thursday, Kenya said through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the change of heart was necessitated by mutual interests of the two countries, in the hope that full normalisation of bilateral relations will occur.

“The Government of Kenya has taken due consideration of intercessions made and has decided to re-open Kenya’s airspace to all flights originating from Somalia and emanating from Kenya to Somalia,” the statement said.

Somalia in December 2020 severed its diplomatic ties with neighboring Kenya, accusing Nairobi of frequently violating Mogadishu’s sovereignty. Mogadishu restored diplomatic relations with Nairobi on May 5 with mediation by Qatar.

Kenya’s aviation authorities suspended all flights to and from Somalia on May 11 after Somalia refused to lift a ban imposed in 2020 on Kenya’s cargo flights for khat (miraa).

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