Ethiopia has denied reports of a deteriorating relationship between its Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, following a failed meeting mid this month.
In a statement to Kahawa Tungu, Ethiopian Embassy in Kenya says that the meeting, which was supposed to be held in March 16 between the two leaders was postponed due to “unavoidable circumstances”.
The Embassy says that President Sahle-Work Zewde represented the Prime Minister in an earlier meeting, but did not explain why the March 16 meeting was postponed to a later date.
“The meeting was attended by the President, in lieu of the Prime Minister because the meeting between Premier Dr Abiy and President Uhuru (Kenyatta) was postponed to a later date to be agreed upon through diplomatic channels,” the statement read in part.
On March 15, Kahawa Tungu reported that Kenya Airforce (KAF) on Saturday March 14 deployed a squadron to overfly the Frontier in Mandera County in North Eastern as a show of might after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed snubbed Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Fighter Jets overflew Bula Hawo borderlands and South of the frontier.
This was after a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Zewde on Thursday March 12, who discussed peaceful co-existence among communities living along the Kenya-Ethiopia border and the desert locust invasion, according to a statement issued later that day.
“At the regional level, the two Heads of State discussed the challenges facing the Nile River basin and emphasized the need for pursuing African solutions to African problems,” the statement read in part.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo and Sicily Kariuki as well as Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Catherine Mwangi and her Ethiopian counterpart to Kenya Meles Alem Tikea.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Dr Ahmed Abiy and Somali President Mr Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo were supposed to have a Tripartite Summit to mediate on the Kenya, Somalia issue.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya presents its compliments to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Somalia and has the honour to inform that due to unavoidable intervening circumstances, it will not be possible for the Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia Tripartite Summit to take place as earlier scheduled on 16th March 2020,” a letter to Somali Embassy in Kenya read.
Earlier on, Kenya had issued a stern warning to Somalia following the fierce clashes that were reported to have erupted between Somalia troops and Jubaland forces in Bulla Hawa and later spilled to Kenya’s Mandera Town.
The meeting is said to have been brokered by Dr Abiy.
The statement to Kahawa Tungu did not indicate when the next meeting would be held.