His Excellency the new President-elect of the Republic of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi, received delegations representing the European Union, the European Parliament, the United Nations Office for Somalia/Somaliland and Turkey at his office where each delivered, in person, their organizations’ felicitations as the new head of State and to, also, promise close cooperation on fields of responsibility with the new president.
The president first received a European delegation of parliamentarians led by MP James Carver, a close friend the of the Republic of Somaliland and an ardent supporter of a full, diplomatic, international recognition of Somaliland. The two sides held preliminary discussions on how best to further the lobbying activities for Somaliland’s primary objective, and how to draw a new roadmap for tasks lying ahead.
Mr. Jeffrey Sims, the UNSOM Representative in Somaliland, paid a visit to the President-elect on Thursday. The new Vice President-elect, H.E. Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail ‘Zeili’i’ – who has also received on same capacity with the outgoing administration – and the incumbent Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Saad Ali Shire, were also present at the reception where the two sides pledged to further carry more in-depth discussions once the new president takes over office.
On the same day, Thursday, the President-elect received the diplomatic representatives to Somaliland of the European Union, Alberto Fiat, and the government of Turkey, Ali Noyan Coskun. Both diplomats undertook a closer cooperation with the incoming government of President Bihi.
It is known, however, if any of the delegates brought along an agenda that will ensure a more verifiable, more timebound chart of activities and fields of cooperation which can be more transparently monitored by the public as the UN, the EU and international NGOs had oft been criticized for treating Somaliland as another Somalia unit within their agendas.
His Excellency the President, also, received the third president – and the first democratically elected on a one-man, one-vote polling at his office the same day. Mr. Dahir Rayale Kahin flew in on Wednesday from Paris where he is currently living with his family in order to grace the takeover ceremony next week, making the event a historical occasion where all three living, democratically elected presidents will be present. Since 1991, Somaliland changed hands with five Presidents.
Mr. Bihi, himself, paid a courtesy visit to the outgoing president – his mentor and close friend, President Siilaanyo, as soon as the National Electoral Commission officially announced the election results with him the winner.
The late presidents, Abdirahman Ahmed Ali and Mohamed Ibrahim Egal prepared the country for a stage where in 2003 the incumbent, outgoing president, H. E. Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud ‘Siilanyo’ ran against Mr. Rayale in a very close race at which Rayale won by only 80 votes.
Earlier in the week, the President-elect held intensive meetings with Somaliland professional lawyers’ and Doctors’ associations as well as the rectors of all Somaliland universities.
He also held a widely welcomed meeting with the elders (above) and politicians across the divide of a clan that formed the base support of Waddani political party’s presidential election race. The elders pledged unreserved support to the new president-elect.
The President-elect, Mr. Bihi, won a close race to the presidency on November 21 and will officially take over the office on December 14.
The Novemver election has certainly altered the international videw of Somaliland and is expected to earn it more friends in the diplomatic arena making the country’s restored sovereignty an accepted fact once more.