Somaliland: Washington DC Ministerial Visit
Somaliland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Abdillahi Mohamed Duale was in a working visit in the U.S. during the period of July 13—24, 2009. The visit was in line with a periodic review of the relations between the two countries comprising a follow-up on pending issues and consultations on areas of mutual interest. The Minister was joined by Dr. Saad Noor, Somaliland’s Representative to the U.S.
The Somaliland delegation was received first by the President Obama’s advisor on Africa in the Executive building of the White House. It was followed by a substantive meeting with Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs and his senior staff including Deputy Assistant Secretary for East and Central Africa. The meeting was also attended by a high level official from the Department of Defense.
The two sides explored the current situation in the Horn of Africa region as well as the sub-region. Threats to security, i.e. religious extremism, terrorism and piracy were thoroughly discussed. The Somaliland side presented a comprehensive review of the challenges Somaliland faces in this regard as well as its needs to safeguard its security. Furthermore, the two sides discussed in detail Somaliland’s need for social and economic development and the role the U.S. may play to assist. Progress made thus far in Somaliland’s democratization program was commended, and the two sides agreed on the need for its successful completion. The U.S. side underlined the importance of holding the presidential election scheduled to take place in Somaliland in September 2009 on time. The Somaliland side concurred.
The Somaliland delegation is pleased to note that the above discussions were among friends. They were cordial and constructive. The two sides were in agreement; they were on the same page on all the issues discussed. Therefore, contacts, consultations and visits will continue.
On the economic front, the delegation met with the Deputy Administrator of USAID and his East Africa staff and the World Banks’ Director of Operations and Strategic Planning. The purpose of the meetings was to review assistance from the two donors with the view of having them coordinate their programs for better results.
The delegation also met congressmen and senior advisors in the House and the Senate. Likewise, it held meetings with a critical mass of policy and development specialists including strategic planners, legal scholars, academics and journalists.