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Somaliland Foreign Minister briefs the House of Representatives
Hargeysa, February 9, 2008 (SL. Times) - The Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdillahi Mohamed Duale presented a report to the Somaliland House of Representatives Standing Committee in Hargeisa.
Abdillahi Mohamed gave the report on the efforts by his ministry and other Somaliland government bodies in regard to establishing overseas ties and on the issues of international recognition.
Abdillahi Mohamed began by stating that "since 1993, Somaliland has been engaged in efforts to secure peace, strengthen state institutions and disarmament, unfortunately, there were some setbacks, such as the brief internal strife during the mid 1990's and frankly the message to Somaliland from the international community at that time was to ‘put our own house in order’ and then we could begin to engage these communities. I recall that in 1993 there were several foreign nations who were willing to assist Somaliland in the development of a national structure, whilst others were not so forthcoming with assistance, and now, Somaliland is being given the benefit of the doubt, the international community is receptive to our case, and this is due to our own achievements.".
Abdillahi Mohamed emphasised that Somaliland currently has representation in many countries and stated: "Somaliland Foreign Ministry has been able to forge new and strong relations with the international community. Somaliland has offices in the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, the United States, South Africa, Belgium, Ghana, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Kenya, Malaysia and Yemen, which by the way, is the only Arab League nation which has allowed us to establish an office in their country."
Abdillahi Mohamed continued by stating, “We are strengthening our ties with Italy, and Mohamud Salah Nur was recently appointed the Somaliland representative to France, and we also remain hopeful of establishing an office in Libya."
On the issue of Somaliland's international recognition, Abdillahi Mohamed maintained that “the issue of recognition should be one of co-ordinated efforts by all of Somaliland's institutions, the executive, legislative, judiciary, business, media, education, and the general public, because everyone has a role to play."
Abdillahi Mohamed informed the committee on the various overseas visits made by delegations from the Somaliland government, and the concerted efforts to take the issue of Somaliland’s international recognition to the diverse political arenas of the world.
The Minister described the recent visit by President Rayale to the United Kingdom and the United States as historic, which according to him have already had results, such as the reciprocal visit to Somaliland by Dr. Jendayi Frazer from the United States State Department, the first official visit by a senior American dignitary since 1991.
Abdillahi Mohamed also remarked on the visit by members of the Somaliland House of Representative who have been meeting with their British counterparts at the House of Commons in London.
In his concluding remarks, Abdillahi Mohamed called on the people of Somaliland to "maintain the unity, peace and the progress of the nation. Somaliland's case for international recognition is at a delicate stage and we must be vigilant in our efforts to reach our goal as a united and strong nation."
On his part, the Chair of the Standing Committee, Mohamed Barkhad Migane thanked the Minister and his staff for coming before the committee and praised the efforts of the Somaliland foreign ministry and its leadership.
Barkhad also stated that the Minister's report will be put before the incoming sixth session of the House of Representatives for deliberation.
Omar Mohamed Farah, Hargeysa, contributed to this report