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Somaliland and Kenya agreed to deepen their diplomatic ties as Kenya offered to recognize Somaliland’s passport, which by March 2021 should enable acquisition of visas on arrival especially for senior government officials

This is per a joint communique issued by the presidents of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, and Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta following their second meeting in two days of talks at State House in Nairobi on 15th December 2020.

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Somaliland and Kenya leaders stated that they directed their respective senior officials to work together to develop a general cooperation framework agreement.

In the agreement, Kenya is expected to open its Consulate in Hargeisa by end of March 2021.

Somaliland would also upgrade its Liaison Office in Nairobi within the same timeframe

The statement stated that Kenya Airways and other Kenyan airlines would commence direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa by end of March 2021.

Senior officials on a pre-determined list and traveling to Kenya on Somaliland travel documents will be allowed to apply for an e-visa and receive the visa on arrival by end of March 2021.

Senior Officials from Somaliland are also expected to agree on details and timelines for enhancing technical cooperation, including implementation of Exchange Programmes involving Students, Agricultural Officers, Doctors, Nurses, and other professionals.

“The Presidents reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to deepen the cordial bilateral relations between Somaliland,” the joint communique said.

The two noted with deep satisfaction that the cooperation between Somaliland lay on a foundation of shared values and principles aimed at fostering sustainable peace, stability, sustained growth, and shared prosperity.

“Somaliland would continue to work together to promote peace and stability, and in pursuit of shared prosperity,” the communique read.

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During their discussions, the leaders focused their attention on the expansion of bilateral trade.

At the conclusion of the official Visit, President Muse Bihi expressed gratitude to Uhuru for the progress made in deepening bilateral relations during the visit, as well as the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.

Read below the full joint communique issued by Somaliland-Kenya leaders:

JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED BY HIS EXCELLENCY UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND HIS EXCELLENCY MUSE BIHI ABDI, PRESIDENT OF SOMALILAND ON THE OCCASION OF THE OFFICIAL VISIT TO KENYA FROM 13TH TO 14TH DECEMBER, 2020

  1. At the invitation of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland made an Official Visit to Kenya from 13th to 14th December 2020
  2. The Presidents reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to deepen the cordial bilateral relations between Somaliland. They noted with deep satisfaction that the cooperation between Somaliland lay on a foundation of shared values and principles aimed at fostering sustainable peace, stability, sustained growth, and shared prosperity. In this regard, they committed to strengthen and deepen the cooperation between Somaliland.
  3. The Presidents affirmed that leaders have a responsibility to secure peace and stability in the region, to enable the people to pursue social-economic development and stability. In this regard, the two leaders acknowledged Somaliland has over the years remained peaceful and stable, owing to the commitment to democratic ideals and the establishment of strong governance institutions. Somaliland would continue to work together to promote peace and stability, and in pursuit of shared prosperity.
  4. During their discussions, the leaders focused their attention on the expansion of bilateral trade, enhancing collaboration in air transport including enabling direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa, as well as cooperating in Agriculture, Livestock Development, Education, Energy, and cooperation between the ports of Mombasa and Berbera.
  5. The Presidents directed their respective senior officials to work together to develop a general cooperation framework agreement to:
    1. Deepen existing cordial people-to-people relations;
    2. Promote and diversify trade and investments;
    3. Enhance security cooperation and information sharing to combat terrorism, cybercrimes, and organized transnational crimes;
    4. Enhance cooperation in various sectors including Agriculture, Livestock Development, Education, Energy and Transport; and,
    5. Promote Training and capacity building.
  6. To effect the commitments made, the two leaders agreed to the following timelines for implementation of a number of activities:
      1. Kenya to open its Consulate in Hargeisa by end of March 2021. Somaliland would also upgrade its Liaison Office in Nairobi within the same timeframe.
      2. Kenya Airways and other Kenyan airlines to commence direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa by end of March 2021.
      3. iii. Senior officials on a pre-determined list and traveling to Kenya on Somaliland travel documents to apply for e-visa and receive the visa on arrival by end of March 2021;
      4. Senior officials from Somaliland to agree on details and timelines for enhancing technical cooperation, including implementation of Exchange Programmes involving Students, Agricultural Officers, Doctors, Nurses, and other professionals.
  7. The two leaders pledged to continue to work together in safeguarding peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region. They noted that Al-Shabaab continues to pose a significant threat to the region. In this regard, they called for a robust international engagement and support for efforts to combat terrorism in the Horn of Africa.
  8. The two leaders acknowledged Kenya’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, strong, and prosperous Somalia, in which the voices of all the people of Somalia have the opportunity to express their sovereign will.
  9. At the conclusion of the Official Visit, His Excellency President Muse Bihi Abdi, expressed gratitude to His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the people of Kenya, for the progress made in deepening bilateral relations during the visit, as well as the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.
  10. His Excellency President Kenyatta wished His Excellency President Muse Bihi Abdi good health and long life; and, Peace and Stability to the people of Somaliland.

STATE HOUSE, NAIROBI.

15TH DECEMBER, 2020.

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