His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi, was on Monday received in state at Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Airport where a red carpet and guard of honour were waiting.
The President was received in person by the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Justice, Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi Al Dhaheri, and other top officers of the UAE government.
In line with a new approach to reception of Somaliland head of state which Ethiopia started on President Bihi’s latest visit to the neighboring country in late February, the UAE topped Ethiopia by raising the Somaliland flag high on the terminal alongside the Emirates’ where the former used it as a backdrop to the seating at the Bole Airport reception.
During President Bihi’s three-day stay in the UAE, his delegation will enter into intensive meetings with the UAE government, DP World and aid agencies to promote and follow up on several initiatives some of which had already begun in Somaliland.
The UAE has recently listed Somaliland on top of its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) list probably counting programs that the Gulf country started in return for the 30-year port concession given it and the military/naval base it is building in the same port city of Berbera on the Red Sea.
Somaliland expects the United Arab Emirates to counter-balance the open-handed support Qatar has inundated Somalia Federal Government with viewing it as a potential threat to the development and stability prevailing in Somaliland that starkly contrasts the volatile climate reigning over the internationally pampered Somalia.
Somaliland, observers note, further banks on the Emirates’ clout to sway international sentiment to Somaliland’s favor making it realize how impotent it is to keep the 28-year-old republic subjugated to the whims and vagaries of a failed state – Somalia.
This is President Bihi’s second vist to the UAE since he came to office late 2017.