The United Kingdom reiterates its strong historical friendship with the people of Somaliland
The President of the Republic of Somaliland, His Excellency Musa Bihi Abdi, today, received at his office, here in Hargeisa, a high-level delegation led by the United Kingdom Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign Office, and the Head of DFID, Harriett Baldwin, who at the Commons, is the MP for West Worcestershire.
Speaking to the press at the end of her discussions with the president, Minister Baldwin expressed her delight in visiting Somaliland which the Minister described as ‘a part of Africa which has such strong and close links’ with the United Kingdom.
Minister Baldwin said she was so happy to see, first hand, how earlier United Kingdom input was helping out in various social welfare and development areas such as increase of water supply for Hargeisa residents, providing for malnourished children and the like.
The Minister said she, during her meeting with the President, urged dialogue and the continuation of talks between Somaliland and Somalia and to work towards a peaceful settlement in a constructive way.
Following up on the relative success of the first phase of the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF), Minister Baldwin she was ‘delighted to announce the start of the second phase of the Somaliland Development Fund where we are adding a further 25 million Pounds to help with a range of infrastructure projects chosen by our partners here in Somaliland’.
“The United Kingdom will remain a steady strong friend with the people of Somaliland,” she added.
Coming at a time not far removed from a recent Somalia attempt to block international special arrangement with Somaliland – a country over which Somalia had no jurisdiction, the UK announcement, and the Minister’s visit, indeed, earned a stronger bond with Somaliland and Somalilanders.
Minister Baldwin hoped that the commitment which His Excellency the President showed to democracy see to it that the upcoming parliamentary elections be held in time and that the tradition of democratic practices which had taken root in Somaliland be further enhanced by meeting those commitments in full.
Of the visit, President Bihi and Minister Baldwin tweeted, respectively:
Delighted to welcome & had a fruitful meeting with the UK State Minister for Africa and Commonwealth, @hbaldwin. We highly appreciate the UK's long standing support to the Republic of Somaliland.
UK is a great and historic partner for Somaliland. pic.twitter.com/RYLFUZ1qkC
— Muse Bihi Abdi (@musebiihi) October 7, 2018
At Hargeisa Stabilisation Centre where women and babies receive life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition. With @DFID_UK @UNICEF support the centre has treated more than 600 children this year following drought and disease outbreaks. pic.twitter.com/ploQnBhkvE
— Harriett Baldwin (@hbaldwin) October 7, 2018
On her way to Somaliland, the UK Minister for Africa made similarly telling contributions to Ethiopia and Uganda benefitting an array of critical projects.
— Harriett Baldwin (@hbaldwin) October 6, 2018