President Uhuru Kenyatta met Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi on Monday for bilateral talks to boost cooperation between the two countries.
According to a statement from the State House, the two heads of state held bilateral talks on “subjects of mutual interest” to initiate development projects.
“The two delegations are set to meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15, 2020, to finalize the talks,” read the statement from State House.
The meeting is aimed at creating diplomatic ties between Kenya and Somaliland. This will offer Nairobi an opportunity to have a presence in Hargeisa-the capital of the Republic of Somaliland. The meeting is also geared to strengthen security, social and economic relations between the two countries.
Even though Somaliland became a self-declared country in 1991, it has gotten little recognition for its status as an independent state. It is still internationally considered to be part of Somalia.
However, the country has also turned over its unlucky fate of not being recognized by the international community by reaching out and developing ties with Non-United Nations members such as the Republic of China and other countries such as South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and its neighbors such as Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Unlike its neighbors, which have been plagued with perpetual conflict over the years— the country has remained relatively peaceful.
Somaliland’s decision to court Kenya is also timely following Mogadishu’s expulsion of Kenyan diplomat to Somalia Maj Fen (rtd) Lucas Tambo and its recalling ambassadors to Kenya.
The move increased diplomatic tensions between Nairobi and Mogadishu even as the conflict over the maritime border continues.
Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi arrived in the country on Sunday, December 13, 2020, for a three-day official visit.
This is the second visit by a Somaliland leader following a similar one by President Kahin Rayale Kahin in 2009.
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