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March 31, 2011

Somaliland ministers fly to UK for key talks


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Somaliland ministers fly to UK for key talks

Minister Henry Bellingham with the President of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo and his delegation 24 November 2010

 

HARGEISA — Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omar left for London on Tuesday for development, security and investment talks with the British government and investors.

Dr. Hussein Abdi Duale, Minister of Mining and Water Resources, Mr. Mohamoud Hashi Abdi, Minister of Aviation and Dr. Omar will sit down with officials from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Thursday in London.

The discussion between the two sides will focus on issues such as security, stability, development, a devastating drought ravaging the region and investment according to official sources close to the government in Hargeisa.

The Somaliland government received an invitation from FCO to take part in a two-day trade and commerce conference that will be held in London this week. The conference is expected to draw British investors from both the public and private sector and will boost bilateral economic collaboration between the two nations.

This visit is part of an on-going efforts to build a closer working relationship between Somaliland and UK. It was three weeks ago when President Ahmed Silanyo received a British delegation consisting of Ambassador Norman Ling, British embassy in Addis Ababa, Tim Hitchens, Director for Africa at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Matt Woods, Deputy Secretary of the British embassy in Ethiopia. A week before that, Somaliland warmly welcomed six British investors for fact-finding mission and key talks with government officials (See British Investors Arrive in Somaliland).

The delegation will stopover in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to hold talks with key officials before they fly to UK. The unannounced trip comes days after official sources said President Ahmed Silanyo was due to fly to Washington next week to hold informal talks with U.S. officials on key issues. They added, he is expected to stopover in Addis Ababa to sign a crucial trade agreement that involves the port of Berbera with the government of Ethiopia and a Chinese firm. Dr. Omar recently returned back from Beijing but some citizens say a dark cloud of secrecy surrounds that trip since he did not reveal any information.

Britain is home to a large Somaliland Diaspora community that dates back to when Somaliland was a British Protectorate in the 19th century. The government of UK will provide $110 million in aids for Somaliland while helping to boost its security by funding its police, coastguards and other key security projects. They are also assisting Somaliland in seaport and airport securities.

(Somalilandpress)

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