Somalia on Sunday evening denied claims by the Kenyan government it has auctioned off oil and gas blocks in which Nairobi lays claim.Kenya over the weekend expelled Somalia’s ambassador to Nairobi and recalled its own diplomat from Mogadishu, in a dispute over the supposed action sale in London of oil and gas blocks which it claimed are located in its territorial waters.
These prompted top Somali government officials to call for an urgent meeting on Sunday, in which Mogadishu denied Kenyan claims it auctioned the contentious oil and gas blocks.
“Somalia is not now offering, not does it have any plans to offer, any blocks in the disputed maritime area until the parties’ boundary is decided by the International Court of Justice,” said the statement seen by APA.
“In this respect, the Government of Somalia reassures the Government of Kenya that it stands by its commitment not to undertake any unilateral activity within the disputed area until such time that the ICJ renders its judgment,” the statement added.
The authorities in Mogadishu said they regretted Kenya’s claims alleging that the government of Somalia is “proferring to bid” any blocks in Kenya’s potential maritime zones to external bidders.
“Somalia also wishes to reassure Kenya that when ICJ renders its judgment, Somalia will fully respect and comply therewith,” the statement added.
Somalia further regretted Kenya’s decision to expel its diplomat, Mohamoud Ahmed Nur alias Tarzan without prior consultation.
Kenya claimed that Somalia auctioned the oil and gas blocks in London on 7thFebruary.
The government claimed its actions are a consequence of “a most regretful and egregious decision by Somalia to auction off oil and gas blocks in Kenya’s maritime territorial area that borders Somalia”.
Kenya said it regrets that the action of the government of Somalia has undermined and “severely damaged” the existing cordial relations between the Nairobi and Mogadishu and has compromised half a century’s worth of dedication and cooperation between the two countries.