Somaliland: High Level Ministerial Delegation to attend new Round of Airspace Control talks in Turkey

A high level delegation led by Minister of Civil Aviation and Air Transport Hon Mahmoud Abdi Hashi representing Somaliland today left the country headed to Turkey for new rounds of talks with federal Government of Somalia with the aim of finding solutions to issues pertaining to joint airspace control.

Before leaving the country, the Minister of Civil Aviation and Air Transport accompanied by four officials from the Ministry of civil Aviation held a press conference at the Egal international airport to brief the media on the purpose of the trip to Turkey.

Hon Mahmoud Abdi Hashi during the press conference said,

“Today, me and four of my colleagues from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air Transport shall embark on a working trip to Turkey on the invitation of that country. Once we arrive in that country, we shall attend a meeting on the proposed joint air control management with officials from the federal government of Somalia, Turkey and UN ICAO.

“As you’re all aware of, we (Somaliland) and SFG have failed to reach an agreement on the issue of the proposed joint air control management on several occasion due to outstanding difference such as the difference regarding the two parties the terms of reference as to the function and the shape of the management board but God willing we hope this time we shall be able to come up with a permanent and long lasting solution to the problem”, he stated.

The Minister of Civil Aviation further added, “Our mandate is clear, me and my colleagues shall be representing the government and people of Somaliland in the talks during the talks and the fact is the government of Somaliland has all rights to manage its air traffic services unilaterally that is not negotiable and no one can take that right from the people of Somaliland.

Hon Mahmoud Abdi Hashi went on to say, “I want to make one clear to the SL citizens and all Somali speaking people, Somaliland as a nation is honors all the treaties and agreements reached with other parties, we also reiterate our committed to jointly find a lasting solution to the issue having said that doesn’t mean that we have relinquished our rights neither our demands.

“We expect the upcoming meeting to be different from the previous ones since it will be a four point meeting and for the first time with the inclusion of Turkey and UN-ICAO and shall only focus on the issue of airspace control without the usual politics”, he said.

The Minister of Civil Aviation further revealed, “We have three options to choose from which are as follows:-

  1. To adopt the Somaliland and Somalia agreement meant to establish a joint Air Traffic Control Board with the center in Hargeisa as agreed during previous talks in Turkey.
  2. To establish two entirely distinct and separate centers in Hargeisa and Mogadishu respectively.
  3. For the UN or a third country to temporally assume control of the two nation’s airspace until future status of two separate states are reached.

Lastly, the Aviation Minister stated, “One thing is for sure, we shall not allow a solution which dictates that the tower in Mogadishu to be used to control both the airspace of Somalia and Somaliland because no legal jurisdiction in the world gives Somalia claim over the territory of the Republic of Somaliland airspace, sea and land.

Somaliland Minister of Aviation and Air Transport is accompanied by Hon Said Abdi Mohamed, the deputy Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr. Said Mahid Ileeye, the director of Aviation and Mr. Ahmed Omer Caga-Dable, Minsters Adviser.