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|Somaliland Delegation Visits South Africa, Mozambique and Ethiopia|
Hargeisa, 3 June 2003 (Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs) - At the invitation of the Honourable Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, MP, South African Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Executive Council of the African, the Rt. Hon. Mohamed Said Gees, Foreign Minister of Somaliland, paid an official visit to South Africa from 23 to 1 June 2003.
Minister Mohamed Said Gees was accompanied by Minister Edna Adan Ismail, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Development and Minister Mohamed Awale, Minister of Pastoral Development and Environmental Affairs.
Consequent to the discussions, the political relationship between South Africa and Somaliland has been strengthened with the agreement to continue discussions and exchange of strategic ideas. In addition officials will meet to take forward a common agenda agreed to by the principals.
In the political sphere the Ministers discussed issues such as: expanding Somalilandís peace and stability, the instability in Somalia; conflict resolution in the DRC and Sudan; Somalilandís policy position on the current Somalia peace talks in Nairobi; and the Ministers discussed positive ways to sustain Somalilandís peace and stability.
Minister Mohamed Said Gees congratulated South Africa, for the presence of South African NGO election observers for the Somaliland Presidential elections headed by internationally reputed Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, and on the leadership of President Mbeki up to and following the launch of the African Union. Minister Mohamed Said Gees stressed that Somaliland prefers to have relations and dialogue with democratic entities.
In addition to the bilateral discussions held by the Foreign Ministers, a meeting was held with Minister Essop Pahad, Minister in the Presidency of South Africa. In order to enhance further discussion on peace and stability in the Horn of Africa, the Ministers agreed that they would be discussed at senior political level in the near future. Minister Mohamed Said Gees thanked the Government of South Africa and its people for the warm hospitality and support extended to his delegation.
The Rt. Hon. Mohamed Said Gees, Foreign Minister of Somaliland, during his visit also had the opportunity to meet with the Foreign Ministers of Mozambique and Sudan, the Mozambique Environmental Affairs Minister and, pay a courtesy call on H.E Mr. Pascal Mocumbi, the Prime Minister of Mozambique, in Maputo.
The Somaliland delegation also held talks with the Secretary-General of Africaís oldest liberation movement, the African National Congress, Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe.
On the final day of his visit, Foreign Minister Mohamed Said Gees, while addressing the media called on the international community, particularly Somalilandís neighbors, to provide diplomatic recognition to Somaliland. The Minister stressed that "the world cannot afford a replay of the cardinal error, where Arab countries did not recognise the State of Israel. This fatal error has led to world instability, unprecedented misery and human loss of Palestinians and Israelis. The Horn of Africa and the world cannot afford further human loss and to ignore Somalilandís stability and democratic local and presidential elections."
For more information contact the Pretoria operations unit at + 27 - 82-880-8603
Issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hargeisa, Somaliland.