• Short Summary

    Somali President, Mohammed Siad Barre, left Ethiopia on Wednesday (14 January) after top-level talks which appeared to reflect improving relations between somalia and Ethiopia.

  • Description

    Somali President, Mohammed Siad Barre, left Ethiopia on Wednesday (14 January) after top-level talks which appeared to reflect improving relations between somalia and Ethiopia.

    He said his two sessions of talks with the Ethiopian Head of State. Brigadier-General Teferi Bente, were "brotherly, friendly and under-standing of our common interests".

    General Siad Barre stayed on four twenty-four hours after this week's Organisation of African Unity (OAU) meeting on Angola, to confer with the Ethiopian leader.

    Somalia and Ethiopia have been engaged in a sharp dispute over the future of the French territory of the Afars Issas (Djinouti), which adjoins them both. France has announced the territory will be decolonised this year and Somalia claims it on historical grounds.

    The area forms the African side of the Bab-El-Manded Straits at the entrance to the Red Sea and is a strategic prize for whoever possesses, controls, or befriends it.

    The Afars are a desert race, most of whom live in Ethiopia where they are known as the Danakil. The Issas are ethnically and by inclination Somali.

    Ethiopia has no claim to the area but a pressing interest in it because the only rail link from its capital of Addis Ababa to the Red Sea runs through it.

    The arrangement has worked while the French remained. Ethiopia fears that its trade may be strangled if Somalia takes it over after independence.

    Since Somali independence in 1960, relations have varied from poor to actively hostile with a succession of more or less serious border incidents.

    General Siad Barre's words on departure were the warmest comments about Ethiopia from somalia for several months. He also went out of his way to praise Ethiopia's Socialism during his speech at the OAU meeting.

    Speaking at the airport he hinted that Djibouti had figured in his discussions, but refused to go into detail. He said there were many affinities between Somalia and Ethiopia which they had been unable to exploit for centuries and the talks had aimed at remedying this.

    SYNOPSIS: Relations between Somalia and Ethiopia appear to be improving after top level talks between the leaders of the two countries. Somalia's Head of State, President Mohammed Siad Barre stayed on in Ethiopia for talks with Brigadier-General Teferi Bente after the Organisation of African Unity's meeting on Angola. He is seen here with Ethiopian officials on his departure on Wednesday.

    The two countries have been involved in a sharp dispute over the future of the French territory of the Afars and Issas -- or Djibouti -- which adjoins them both.

    The area is vital to Ethiopia because it provides a rail link with the Red Sea and the country is worried that if Somalia takes over, its trade will be strangled. Somalia claims the land because of historic links.

    Since Somalia gained independence in 1960, relations between the countries have varied from poor to openly hostile. General Siad Barre said the talks were brotherly friendly and understanding of common interest, and those comments were the warmest about Ethiopia from Somalia for some months.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAA5N9QHO98E91BHFM1WVAZOBEE
    Media URN:
    VLVAA5N9QHO98E91BHFM1WVAZOBEE
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/01/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:22:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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