Hassan Sheikh and Abiy Ahmed are expected to have face-to-face meeting in Italy-sources say

File Photo/Somali Times

According to sources close to Somalia president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud the Italian government is planning to host a face-to-face meeting between Somali President Hassan Sheikh and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

This week, Italy is hosting a summit of African leaders, and 15 presidents and eight prime ministers have accepted the invitation, and there are other African representatives attending the meeting.

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Among the African leaders who have accepted the invitation to the meeting in Italy are Hassan Sheikh and Abiy Ahmed, and we have received information that the Italian plan is to hold a separate meeting between Hassan and Abiy.

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The purpose of this meeting is for the Italian government to discuss with African countries the plan called. The Mattei Plan is also expected to encompass initiatives in African agribusiness, involving Italian transport and major works companies, albeit maintaining a primary focus on energy investment. Meloni aims to position Italy as an energy gateway, particularly for natural gas.

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Although it is not on the agenda of the meeting, Italy is planning to find a solution to the problems of Somalis and Ethiopians that have shaken the Horn of Africa these days, according to the diplomats who are in charge of organizing the meeting.

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The information adds that the president of Italy has planned to have a dinner meeting between Hassan Sheikh and Abiy Ahmed on Sunday night, as the big meeting will be attended by many leaders who are not involved in this matter.

Somalia has not yet discussed the possibility of a meeting between the leaders of Somalia and Ethiopia, but officials from the Somali presidency have told Somali Times that President Hassan Sheikh is going to Italy to participate in the meeting.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, in the past few hours has clearly stated that his country is not looking for force in the sea that belongs to another country and will never fight with Somalia. He also said that Ethiopia respects the unity of Somalia, changing the face of tension between the two countries.