By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Government and people of the United Kingdom are committed to sustainable relations with counterparts in Somaliland.
This was informed by the foreign minister Dr Saad Ali Shire during a press briefing at the Egal International Airport’s VIP lounge upon his return from an extended working tour of the British Isles and former Somaliland colonial masters.
“During my stay in the UK I met and held very fruitful talks with its Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary in charge of African affairs James Duddridge” said Dr Saad Ali
Accordingly the UK which is among Somaliland’s major humanitarian and Development donor shall not only sustain but enhance on its existing bi-lateral relations with its former Horn Africa protectorate more so in the diplomatic, political and security fronts.
At the same time the foreign minister extended the gratitude of country to the Tower Hamlet Council for joining numerous other local governments in Europe to recognizing the sovereignty of Somaliland.
Said he, “While thanking members of Tower Hamlet council for the honour they bestowed our country, I also acknowledge the great campaign work done by our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora thus making this milestone achievable”
Dr Saad Ali Shire held extensive briefings with the Country’s British Diaspora where several issues were agreed upon chief being the importance of availing their knowledge and skills towards the Somaliland economic growth.
“I also had occasion to meet and discuss local business opportunities with various foreign investors with an eye for the local market”
On the issue of the cessation of Ethiopian Visa Issuance by the neighbouring country’s Consulate in Hargeisa the foreign minister who commiserated with citizens whose numerous mission to Ethiopia, the country’s gateway to the world as well as main source of specialized medical treatment, have been constrained also informed that the hitch was occasioned by some technical issues that are currently being resolved.
On the ongoing and spiralling conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Dr Saad Ali Shire stated that due to the proximity of Somaliland to the middle East as well as numerous links be it Economic or movement of people, the administration is concerned by events.
Said he, “Though Somaliland is not in the habit of interfering with internal issues of other countries, it is also worth mentioning that the state stands with Saudi Arabia on imperatives of the Kingdom to defend itself legally against any aggression both covert and overt”
The proxy war in Yemen between the Saudi led Coalition and Iran has had adverse effects in Somaliland since most livestock exports, the country’s main lifeline, have reduced drastically not to mention the rise in price of basic commodities mostly imported via Yemen. Somaliland is also currently home to thousands of Yemenis and other conflict afflicted Arab refugees seeking safe havens.
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