ADDIS ABABA (HOL)- Ethiopia has upgraded its diplomatic standing with the break-away region of Somaliland following the appointment of an ambassador to Hargeisa.
President Sahle Work Zewde decreed Wednesday the promotion of Said Mohammed, who has been the head of consular affairs in Somaliland, to the rank of full ambassador.
The new changes follow a visit by President Muse Bihi on January 19 to Ethiopia, where he had been invited by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Though Ethiopia has maintained, including last week, that Somaliland is part of Somalia, the upgrade of its diplomatic status sends a strong indication of its intention to consider the recognition of the breakaway region.
The upgrade of its consular status in Somaliland also comes amid reports that Ethiopia is negotiating a stake in the ancient port of Zeyla in Somaliland.
Currently, Ethiopia has a 19 percent stake in the port of Berbera in a joint concession with the UAE’s P&O Ports.