The United Arab Emirates’ new and first ambassador to Somaliland Abdulla Alnaqbi presented his credentials to Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi on Saturday.

President Bihi received Ambassador Alnaqbi, who will be now serving as the UAE’s ambassador to Somaliland, at his office at the Presidential Palace in Hargeisa.

President Muse Bihi said both Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates share strategic partnership and friendship, adding that common values have sustained the relationship for a while now. The nomination, he noted, will cement the relationship between the two countries.


“Received H.E. Abdulla Alnaqbi who presented his letter of credence as the first posted UAE Representative to the Republic of Somaliland,” the Somaliland president said in a tweet.

“Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates share strategic partnership, friendship, and common values. H.E. Abdulla’s nomination will cement and take this to the next level,” he noted in his statement.

Today, to both countries, marks the beginning of another, higher-level relations.

The UAE is the leading Foreign Direct Investor in Somaliland with the financial support of key projects critical to the Somaliland economy.

The Dubai-based leading ports manager, DP World has committed US$442 million to the development of Somaliland’s main Red Sea port – Berbera. The innovation and extensions added to the existing port structures, the Free Zone, and the dual-carriageway connecting the port to the Wajaale commercial town straddling the border between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

A 400m-quay extension is nearing completion qualifying Berbera as a key entry point of extensive trade volumes to eastern and Horn of Africa countries and, especially, to landlocked Ethiopia.

This latest show of friendship further cements relations between the two countries since the Somaliland parliament approved the DP World projects and the establishment of a UAE naval base in Berbera in 2016.

The UAE joins a growing list of countries that have already opened commercial and diplomatic offices in the capital of Somaliland – a country widely hailed as a beacon of peace and the miracle of Africa contrasting the uncertainty of conflict-ridden Somalia to the south – a junior partner in a failed union between the two countries which lasted from 1960 to 1991. The United Kingdom, Taiwan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Turkey are among these. Kenya will be officially opening its gates by end of this month.

Somaliland diplomacy has of late matured to an extent that none of the traditionally intransigent elements in the African Union can deny the 30-year-old reality of a democratic, peaceful Somaliland with a straight face.

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