Somalia receives the largest Turkish military base and training center (Getty)

On Wednesday, the government, parliament and Mali agreed to a defense agreement with Turkey against the backdrop of its regional tensions with Ethiopia, which signed an agreement with the breakaway region of Somaliland.

Under this defense agreement, Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), will help defend Somalia's territorial waters and reorganize the troubled country's naval forces in the Horn of Africa, according to what President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud explained after a joint session of Parliament.

Sheikh Mahmoud added, "The agreement presented to Parliament today relates only to cooperation between Somalia and Turkey in the field of maritime defense and economic matters, and in no way aims to incite hatred or conflict with any other country or government."

Sheikh Mahmoud: The agreement with Turkey does not aim to incite hatred or conflict with any other country or government (Reuters)

The Somali President explained - during a press conference - that there are "many violations in the Somali Sea, such as illegal fishing, the use of terrorists and pirates, and pollution," stressing that the historic agreement concluded between the federal government and its Turkish counterpart in the field of defense and economic cooperation will help resolve all these crises.

He continued, "The agreement we concluded with the Turkish government will last for 10 years and the Somali naval forces will be built, and it is also important for economic development and benefiting from natural resources."

For his part, Somali Information Minister Dawud Awis Jama - in a post on the X platform - described the agreement concluded between the two countries as a very important step.

Somali news website Garowe said the agreement gives Turkey “comprehensive authority” to defend and manage Somali maritime territory.

The tension between Somalia and Ethiopia came against the backdrop of the latter signing an agreement with separatist Somaliland granting it a coast on the Gulf of Aden (Al Jazeera)

Tension with Ethiopia

Tensions have increased between neighboring Somalia and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa since the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Somaliland, which was embodied by the signing of a “memorandum of understanding” on January 1, stipulating that Ethiopia would lease the coast of Somaliland extending 20 kilometers on the Gulf of Aden for 50 years. years. Mogadishu denounced the "illegal" agreement.

The Somaliland authorities confirmed that in exchange for this access to the sea, Ethiopia would become the first country to officially recognize it, which no side has done since this small region with a population of 4.5 million people unilaterally declared its independence from Somalia in 1991.

On February 8, Turkey and Somalia signed a framework agreement for defense and economic cooperation in the capital, Ankara.

The agreement was signed during a visit by Somali Defense Minister Abdelkader Mohamed Nour to Turkey and his meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Yasar Guler.

Ankara maintains close relations with Somalia and is its first economic partner, especially in the fields of construction, education, health, and military cooperation.

Somalia also receives the largest Turkish military base and training center outside Turkey, according to Turkish media.

Source: Agencies