Taiwan officially opened its representative office in Somaliland capital Hargeisa on Monday, August 17, 2020 with the raising of both countries’ national flags and the signing of agreements on technical cooperation.
Taiwan’s national anthem was played when the flags of both countries were hoisted in a solemn ceremony in front of the new embassy’s building with a red banner that read “Taiwan Representative Office Opening Ceremony.”
This office will enhance diplomatic ties between Somaliland and Taiwan.
On July 1, Wu announced at a press conference in Taipei that Taiwan and Somaliland signed an agreement in February to exchange representative offices.
After the ceremony, Taiwan-Somaliland foreign ministers Joseph Wu and Faraton jointly signed a cooperation agreement through video conferencing, and Taiwan will send a technical mission to Hargeisa to work on different projects.
In a speech from Taiwan capital Taipei, President Tsai Ing-Wen said: “Today we opened the Taiwan Representative Office in Somaliland. We are bound together by our shared values of freedom, democracy, justice and the rule of law, ideals that will guide our future cooperation. These values bind us together and makes us stronger.
She said Taiwan is keen to expand cooperation with our friends in Somaliland and work together to tackle global challenges. In the spirit of mutual assistance for mutual benefits, Taiwan is firmly committed to working with Somaliland in areas of agriculture, fisheries, energy, mining, public health, education and ICT.
I am confident that our two countries will make great progress on all these fronts. And may the Somaliland and Taiwan relationship contribute to the advancement of peace, freedom and prosperity in the Horn of Africa.
Somaliland Foreign Affairs minister Yassin Mohamoud Hiir Faraton and the newly appointed Taiwan’s representative to Somaliland Allen Chengwa Lou expressed their excitement over the opening the embassy saying it will help build stronger diplomatic, economic and social ties between the two countries that do not have a sitting in the United Nations as they are yet to be recognized internationally.
Lou said that Taiwan is seeking to promote cooperative relations with the African countries.
Lou said: “The republic of Taiwan seeks to promote cooperative ties with African nations and spend its engagement through East Africa. Taiwan and Somaliland will work together in areas such as agriculture, healthcare, technology, education, security, energy, mining, trade, investment and fisheries. We are confident that the mutual benefit and the friendly ties between Taiwan and Somaliland will be further deepened.”
Somaliland foreign minister said this was a major diplomatic partnership the two countries had initiated.
He also confirmed that Somaliland is planning to officially open its representative office in Taipei in the coming few weeks.
In his speech, the minister said: “On this historic occasion when the flag of Taiwan is being hoisted in Hargeisa, I would like to congratulate you on behalf of our government and the people on the occasion of opening of your office. As we are officially launching inauguration of Taiwan’s office in Somaliland, I would like to announce that Somaliland office in Taipei is due to open in the next few weeks.
The minister added: “Taiwan and Somaliland share many common values and principles of democracy, superb political governance, vibrant free market economy, respect for fundamental human rights, transparency and open systems of government, freedom of association and expression including the free press.
“The Somaliland-Taiwan ties is built on mutual cooperation. It aims to leverage and enhance on the respective strengths and comparative advantages for mutual benefits. While Somaliland has enormous untapped mineral resources including hydrocarbons, far-fledgling agricultural land for proper rearing of millions of livestock and rich fisheries and marine resources.”
The minister said that Taiwan provides an impressive and advantage and advanced technology and technical know-how, highly skilled human capital and business infrastructure and unparalleled global network.
“We the republic of Somaliland hope and desire that we will achieve practical cooperation with Taiwan that yields mutually tangible and beneficial outcomes.”
Taiwan currently has diplomatic relations with only 15 countries around the world, and has struggled to carve out an international presence because of China’s suppression. Though Taiwan only has 15 diplomatic allies, it maintains economic and cultural offices in more than 50 countries around the world.
Beijing objected to the move, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory, even though Taiwan has not been under the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China since it was founded on Oct. 1, 1949.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, arrived in Taiwan on Aug. 7, according to his Twitter feed. It is not yet known, however, when Somaliland will open its office in Taiwan.