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In Post-Morsi Diplomacy, Turkey Hosts Somaliland and Somalia Talks, FUNCA Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 6 -- With events in Egypt putting Turkish diplomatic forays in question, the country goes forward this weekend with its attempts to mediated between Somalia and Somaliland. Could this reverse things for Turkey, casting it in the role of Qatar on Darfur or Burkina Faso on Mali?

  As Somaliland's Minister of Trade and International Investment, Dr. Mohamed A. Omar and Somalia's Minister of Interior and National Security, Abdikarim H. Guled met Saturday, hosted and overseen by Turkey's foreign ministry, it was Free UN Coalition for Access member Mohamoud Walaaleye who asked Dr. Omar about the agenda and whether it will include the “airspace saga.”

  The UN unilaterally transferred Somaliland's airspace to Mogadishu, leading to a cancellation of UN system flights. UN envoy Nicholas Kay has been told that the new UNSOM mission should not open in Somaliland.

  Meanwhile, Kay declined to confirm or deny that in Mogadishu UN Mine Action Service boss David Bax shares information with US intelligence. Kay told Inner City Press this is a question for the UN in New York, where UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous refuses to answer Press questions.

  Mohamoud Walaaleye, just off his protest of the jailing of two Hubaal journalists now out on bail, quotes Dr. Mohamed A. Omar to this effect:

The delegation from Somaliland and Somalia paid a courtesy visit today jointly with the Turkish Foreign minister. They presented brief statements and their points of view as to how the three-day meeting should proceed and thanked the Turkish government for hosting the meeting.

Minister Mohamed A. Omar expressed Somaliland's view on the process and expectation of the meeting, calling on participants to engage a substantive discussion on the issue Somaliland's recognition and to trash out a road map for that.

By contrast, Somalia's Minister off Interior and National Security, Abdikarim H. Guled argued they should first work on making unity attractive and settle the grievances through negotiations.

On Sunday, the two delegation leaders will lead their teams to what is expected to be the most difficult round of talks between the two sides since the talks started in the UK on 20 June 2012.

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