Somaliland: US to Maintain Dual Track Engagement Policy

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By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The US government will diplomatically engage with Somaliland following its recent recognition of the Somalia government.

The United States formal diplomatic relations are with the Somali Government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, which the United States recognized on January 17, 2013.

This was informed by Mr. Matt Goshko who is Counselor for Public Affairs , Somalia Affairs Unit , U.S. Embassy, Nairobi during an interview with reporter Mahmud Walaleye of the Hornnewspaper.

Said he, “The United States is on record as being in accord with the African Union in recognizing a single Somali State”

According to the Counselor the Washington government shall maintain its current dual track engagement policy it has utilized for a number of years to deal with issues pertinent to the two neighbouring countries of Somaliland and Somalia.

“The U.S. will continue, however, to engage with Somaliland authorities on a broad array of issues that include development and humanitarian assistance, as we have done for a number of years” Said Mr. Goshko.

On the subject of talks between the two formerly united countries that divorced in 1991 the US government shall maintain a neutral stance thus facilitate the two sides reaching an amicable agreement.

In the talks that were sanctioned by the international community during the London and Istanbul II conferences on Somalia of 2012 the two countries who met for face to face for the first time in 21 years a number of agreements most notably the need for continued engagement were concurred upon.

Following meetings at London’s Chevening house by the technical committees and a head of state meeting in Dubai Somaliland postponed the talks after the mandate of the then Somalia Transitional Federal Government-TFG led by Sheikh Sharif expired thus subsequent election of current president Hasan Mahmud.

On the issue of the talks Counselor Goshko said, “We continue to encourage authorities from Somaliland and the Government of Somalia to engage in constructive dialogue”

The talks are expected to resume in London, May this year under the patronage of the British Prime Minister David Cameroon

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