Somaliland is uncomfortable with a push by Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to visit the country alongside Somalia president Mohamed Abdilahi Farmajo.
Abiy Ahmed had late last week requested to visit Somaliland capital Hargeisa alongside Farmajo.
This came days after the Ethiopian PM had succeeded in having Somaliland leader Musa Bihi and Farmajo meet at his office in Addis Ababa after the Africa Union Summit.
When Farmajo returned to Mogadishu he made a public apology to Somalilanders for the atrocities committed during the 1980s.
But now Somaliland says it is not yet ready to host Farmajo who would have been the first Somalia president to visit Hargeisa since the two countries separated in 1991.
“Not now,” a government official who did not want to be named said.
“What we need from Somalia now is for them to accept we are an independent state.
“We go back to the round table and discuss how we can build ourselves as separate nations and promote peace between ourselves, then from there we can discuss how our leaders can visit either country as neighbours,” the official said.
Somaliland says it welcomes Ethiopia’s efforts to end the impasse between her and Somalia but pushing for a visit by the Somali president is not a priority now.
“It may be better to visit once all the underlying issues have been resolved and both Somalia and Somaliland agree then such visits can be held.”
BY ODINDO AYIEKO