Your Excellency president of Somaliland I hereby extend an official invitation for talks with the highest levels of authority in Paris whenever your schedule allows” Ambassador de Poncins
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – The president of Somaliland Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo is expected to jet out of the country this week for an official visit to Paris under official invitation from the French government.
While no official statement has been released on the tour sources indicate that the head of state accompanied by the first lady Ms Amina Weris and his foreign Minister Mohamed Behi Yonis among others shall depart the Hargeisa on Sunday 29th September 2014 for Paris.
Upon anticipated departure from the country the presidential entourage is expected to hold talks with the president of Neigbouring Djibouti while in transit to Paris.
It is also reported that President Silanyo shall upon conclusion of duties in France also visit other European countries notably the United Kingdom and some Scandinavian nations which are among the top contributors to Somaliland’s non state actors.
The detour to Djibouti a former French protectorate and subsequent talks with its leadership is crucial in view of the tiny country’s relationship and importance to France in the Horn of African where it maintains a substantial political, diplomatic and military presence.
The visit to Paris and planned meetings and discussions with the Élysée Palace occupant and other officials emanates from an official invitation extended to president Silanyo by the French Envoy to Somaliland and Somalia Ambassador Etienne De Poncins.
“Your Excellency president of Somaliland I hereby extend an official invitation for talks with the highest levels of authority in Paris whenever your schedule allows” informed Amb de Poncins at the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa during an official visit to present his credentials on the 22nd of May this year.
According to Amb De Poncins who is the first full-fledged Ambassador both to Somaliland and Somalia in 25 years , his visit and subsequent trip to Paris by President Silanyo is the first direct engagement with both countries and that the French republic has a lot of interests in Somaliland be it political or commercial.
Said he “Apart from economic interests in Somaliland from French companies, the government of France intent’s to enhance Cultural exchange such as promoting the French language, economic development, bilateral and political relations with Somaliland,”
While president Silanyo’s sojourn abroad comes in the heels of similar activities by his Somali counterpart Hasan Mahmud the Paris and other European meetings are thence significance in the essence of countering the never ending Somalia federal government’s shouts of jurisdictional authority of Somaliland and related pleas the SFG for support from the international community in reigning in its much advanced economically and politically neighbour.
Somaliland withdrew from its voluntary and later turned fateful union of 1960 with Somalia in 1991 thus the collapse of the Republic of Somalia following a protracted civil war waged by SNM after forces loyal to then dictator Mohamed Siad Barre massacred over 60,000 somalilanders.
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