Tannock renews call for Somaliland independence at meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister

1st September 2011 — Ethiopia should take the lead and declare Somaliland – the former British protectorate breakaway region within the state of Somalia – an independent sovereign state, Charles Tannock MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists group foreign affairs spokesman, said today at a meeting in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

Dr Tannock said that a stable and sovereign Somaliland would act as a powerful moderate neighbouring partner to Ethiopia both economically and politically. He argued that many other major African nations, the EU and the USA, would also eventually support independence, but not until a major African Union nation makes the first move. It is also important to remind the newly independent Republic of South Sudan of its stated commitment to recognise Somaliland in exchange for the longstanding help it gave Juba in its liberation struggle from Khartoum. Historically Somaliland was very briefly independent in 1960 so it is legally a case of re-reccognition rather than recognition after Hargeisa, much to its subsequent regret, joined the former Italian Somalia in the south for an unhappy marriage which lasted until 1991.

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