On July 16, 2018, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump met in Helsinki, Finland, for talks. During the course of that meeting the two men held closed-door session in which all members of American delegation were excluded. Nobody knew what the two men discussed about. At least the world suspected something fishy was taking place when President Trump sided with the Russians in a subsequent joint press conference against the assessment of his own intelligence agencies on Russian meddling in 2016 US election in favor of Trump victory. There were a number of other occasions in which Trump conducted private conversations with Putin on the sideline of G-8 summit meetings at various venues. He even dared to hold private encounter with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador to Washington alone in the White House Oval Office, the official desk of US President. The readout of this particular meeting was not issued in Washington, but in Moscow. Suspicion of such Trump’s private meetings lingers even to this day.

When leaders meet in such high profile fashion in a closed-door setting, the general public becomes suspicious of what was going on. Wild rumors and gossips fly around. Nobody has counter-narrative against media speculations and allegations. Society becomes uncomfortable and political cynicism sets in. This is what is happening right now in Garowe, Puntland. This is also true to the rest of Somalia with regards to Garowe Summit.

Federal Government and the Federal Member State of Puntland must address the confusion their respective leaders have just created in Garowe Talks, which were conducted exclusively by the two men behind closed doors

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