Somaliland FM meets UAE foreign minister
DUBAI — Somaliland Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omar is on a trip to the United Arab Emirates and met with its Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Wednesday in Dubai.
The two ministers discussed a range of issues concerning both the Arab World and the Horn of Africa. The pressing issue of maritime piracy off the coast of neighbouring Somalia is said to have dominated the talks. Dr Omar briefed the UAE minister of Somaliland’s efforts against pirates in the region and its commitment to tackle it by all reasonable means. He stressed that Somaliland was lacking the financial and equipment needed to fully combat the sea-gangs, but that it was doing all it can. He said Somaliland currently holds more than 90 pirates in two separate prisons. He requested UAE’s assistance and said it desperately needs boats, training and finance.
Sheikh Abdullah on his part congratulated the Somaliland government for its successes against the armed gangs at sea. He added it was having a devastating effect on the UAE’s public and private communities and posed a considerable threat to peace and security internationally. He promised that the UAE will conduct counter-piracy operations with Somaliland and the rest of the international community.
The meeting comes days after 50 countries were represented at an international conference in Dubai aimed at tacking the problem of maritime piracy.
Dr Omar is part of a Somaliland delegation currently visiting the Gulf states of UAE and Kuwait in a bid to secure foreign investment and humanitarian assistance.