As reports implicate president Hasan accompanied by senior officials in clandestine meet with PM Netanyahu in Nairobi
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- while only two Islamic countries officially recognize the state of Israel namely Jordan and Egypt many others are known to maintain covert integrations for diverse purposes.
To this suspected covert group thought to include Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the war torn Horn Africa nation of Somalia is said to be the new pro-Israel Johnny come lately in the game of shadow diplomacy .
The Israeli-Somalia connection came to full exposure after media reports indicated that president Hasan Sheikh of the Somalia Federal Government- SFG met secretly with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials both in Tel-Aviv and in the Kenyan capital Nairobi where Bibi led a large multi sector Israeli delegation as part of his four African Countries tour.
“I don’t want to answer your specific question. I can merely say that we have lot of contacts with countries that we don’t have formal relations with. A lot of contacts.” Said PM Netanyahu stated last Tuesday in response to queries on the alleged meeting by a Times of Israel reporter during a briefing in Nairobi.
As Netanyahu embarked on a tour of Africa by a sitting Prime minister of Israel in 30 years that started in Uganda followed by Kenya and Rwanda before culminating in Ethiopia for high level meetings SFG officials in Mogadishu became jittery and released a statement denying its president having ever met with any Israeli officials in Nairobi but without mention to the alleged on of Tel-Aviv late last year.
The Widely circulated SFG statement denying the Netanyahu-Hasan meet that allegedly took place in the sidelines of the overt one between the visiting Israeli and his host Uhuru Kenyatta, read in verbatim
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion of the Federal Republic of Somalia has strongly denied the meeting in a press statement sent to newsrooms on Wednesday saying meeting between Sheikh Mohamud and Netanyahu did not take place.
“While the Somali Federal Government values all partners and seeks to establish meaningful relations with existing and new allies with an objective of securing Somalia’s future progress and prosperity, the Ministry can confirm that the reported meeting between the President of Somalia and the Prime Minister of Israel did not take place,” read the statement.
“Somalia is emerging successfully from a difficult past into a new age of stability and progress. We have turned the corner towards a better developmental future. Therefore, it is crucial for Somalia to continue to work effectively with all partners, in all capacities and on all matters of mutual interest, including confronting terrorism, promoting economic development and facilitating trade,
As a Muslim state and founding member of Arab league, Somalia does not recognize Jews state of Israel due to brutal occupation against Palestinian people and violation on Islamic holy sanctuary of Al Aqsa”unquote
Israel which is only recognized by two Islamic states does not maintain diplomatic relations with Somalia, a mostly Sunni Muslim country with a population of some 11 million and a member of the Arab League.
The war torn country whose federal government is propped up by the international community which also facilitates an over 20000 strong African Union force to counter Al-Shabaab militants who challenge the weak authorities in Mogadishu for control of the country has never recognized the state of Israel seemingly in fulfillment of dictates of the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Countries both of which it belongs to.
In the meantime citizens of Somaliland confounded by the news of covert Som-Israeli relations are wondering how far the authorities will stretch while in pursuit of gathering a few coins and supporters for its crusade against the international recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign nation.
Somaliland a former British protectorate which withdrew in 1991 from its membership of the then Republic of Somalia formed in 1960 through a voluntary union with former Italian Somalia, has despite forming a successful state mechanism and governing structures that have managed to sustain peace and security in a turbulent region, continues to see its sovereignty ignored international courtesy of Somalia authorities who claim it as part of its northern region.