Somaliland, UAE Relations Soar Onto a Higher Diplomatic Plane


His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi, Received the letters of accreditation to a new – and first – envoy the United Arab Emirates appointed to the Republic of Somaliland, H.E. Abdulla Alnaqbi.

President Bihi received Ambassador Alnaqbi at his office at the State House.

The President underlined the monumental importance of this important development between the two countries.

“Somaliland and the UAE share strategic partnership, friendship & common values. H.E. Abdulla’s nomination will cement and take this to the next level,” President Bihi Tweeted after the reception.

The UAE makes history by becoming the first Arab country to open a representative office in recognition of the diplomatic and geostrategic importance of the Republic of Somaliland.

Today, to both countries, marks the beginning of another, higher-level relations.

The UAE is the leading Foreign Direct Investor in Somaliland with the financial support of key projects critical to the Somaliland economy.

The Dubai-based leading ports manager, DP World has committed US$420 million to the development of Somaliland main Red Sea port – Berbera. The innovation and extensions added to the existing port structures, the Free Zone and the dual-carriageway connecting the port to the Wajaale commercial town straddling the border between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

A 400m-quay extension is nearing completion qualifying Berbera as a key entry point of extensive trade volumes to eastern and Horn of Africa countries and, especially, to landlocked Ethiopia.

This latest show of friendship further cements relations between the two countries since the Somaliland parliament approved the DP World projects and the establishment of a UAE naval base in Berbera in 2016.

The UAE joins a growing list of countries that have already opened commercial and diplomatic offices in the capital of Somaliland – a country widely hailed as a beacon of peace and the miracle of Africa contrasting the uncertainty of conflict-ridden Somalia to the south – a junior partner in a failed union between the two countries which lasted from 1960 to 1991. The United Kingdom, Taiwan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Turkey are among these. Kenya will be officially opening its gates by end of this month.

Somaliland diplomacy has of late matured to an extent that none of the traditionally intransigent elements in the African Union can deny the 30-year-old reality of a democratic, peaceful Somaliland with a straight face.

Personal bodyguards of Saed Abdullahi Deni, President of the Federal Somalia State of Puntland arrive at Mogadishu Airport ahead of his Saturday arrival

This latest chapter in Somaliland’s success story comes at a time a select representation of Somalia political stakeholders are conferring at Avizione – the ex-police airstrip in Mogadishu each protected by platoons of his own, wary of the next.

AMISOM has been charged to secure the venue with the UN SRSG, James Swan, and the American Ambassador, Donald Yamamoto, chaperoning the talks.

Somalia army and police roles were reduced to patrolling the streets and cordoning off approaches to the ex-base.

Waddooyika Muqdisho oo la xiray iyo gadiid dagaal iyo ciidamo lagu arkayo
Somalia security forces stay outside the venue while AMISOM troops secure the safety of delegates at the venue

Somalia partners had been frenetically trying to save Somalia from another slide back to irreversible anarchy since last September when an electoral agreement federal members reached with Villa Somalia flopped. Since then, the mandated term of the Farmajo government expires and the opposition declared the unelected government in office illegal withdrawing all recognition of its legitimacy as a caretaker.

Somalilanders at all levels, expectedly, warmly welcomed Ambassador Alnaqbi and the office he represented. Below is a sample of Tweets effusing the new development.




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