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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to host Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi at State House in Nairobi on Monday for talks on mutual interests.

The talks will focus on how to bolster security and economic and social interactions between the two countries.

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President Muse Bihi was received at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba.

After signing the official government visitors book and subsequent tête-à-tête, the Somaliland delegation was escorted to the Kempinski Hotel where they shall stay during the three days of their visit.

Kenya is treating Somaliland as “an important partner in the Horn of Africa region in the fight against terrorism and particularly al Shabaab.”

In a statement to newsrooms, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Kenya takes cognizance of the political and economic stability of the region.

“…and is keen to enhance and broaden trade in goods and services, as well as, investment as the cornerstone for development cooperation within the region,” the statement said.

Nairobi is seeking stronger ties in the banking and financial sectors to accelerate more investment opportunities.

Among the issues in the cooperation is to introduce direct flights connecting Nairobi and Hargeisa to enhance trade and movement.

“Kenya is keen to strengthen information sharing on security particularly in countering terrorism. Kenya and Somaliland will work together to achieve these aspirations,” the MFA said.

Kenya has no diplomatic presence in Somaliland but takes cognizance of the political and economic stability of the region and is keen to enhance and broaden trade in goods and services, as well as, investment as the cornerstone for long-term development cooperation with the region.

Uhuru will also discuss with the visiting Somaliland leader diaspora issues as they seek out to deepen trade ties.

President Muse is expected to meet a number of leaders among them ODM supremo Raila Odinga.

This is the second visit by a Somaliland leader following a similar one by President Kahin Riyale Kahin in 2009.

The Horn of Africa’s center of gravity has shifted away from Addis Ababa to Nairobi following the Prime Minister of Ethiopia’s war in Tigray.

In early of this month, the United States President-elect Joe Biden has spoken to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta regarding issues affecting the Horn of Africa region.

Mr. Biden made the promise in a telephone call with Kenyan President and he has conveyed his interest in building on the strong and lasting partnership between his country and Kenya across a variety of issues affecting both countries.

The Somaliland President’s visit comes at a time Nairobi is having a strained relationship with Mogadishu, arising from claims of interference with elections in Jubaland.

Somalia ordered the expulsion of Kenya’s ambassador in the latest dispute which Mogadishu attributed to President of Jubaland reneging on an election agreement reached in September.

Somalia has also banned the sale of miraa from Kenya in Mogadishu following the strained relations, hurting the earnings of farmers depending on the crop.

Recently, the neighboring country revoked visas on arrival for Kenyans citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

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