UK Chips-in £25m to the Somaliland Development Fund , Pledges Enhanced Relations

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Somaliland President Muse Bihi poses for a selfie with UK state minister for foreign affairs in charge of Africa and DFID Harriet Baldwin after meeting in Hargeisa in October 2018/file

Somalilandsun-The United Kingdom is satisfied with status of Development projects it finds in Somaliland.
This was stated by the UK state minister for foreign affairs in charge of Africa and head of DFID Ms Harriet Baldwin at the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa
Ms Baldwin is leading a broad UK delegation which held lengthily discussions with the president Muse Bihi Abdi who was flanked by his deputy Abdirahman Sayli, Foreign minister Dr Saad Ali Shire and the SL Representative in the UK Ms Ayan Mahmud Ashur.
Deliberations of the closed door meeting between the UK and Somaliland officials were divulged in a joint presser at the presidency conducted by Somaliland foreign minister Dr Saad Ali Shire and the UK state minister for foreign Affairs Ms Harriet Baldwin.
“First is to express our appreciation for very successful and fruitful relations that our country shares with Britain” said Dr Saad Ali Shire adding that the people and government of Somaliland shall always remain grateful to British counterparts.
As per discussions the foreign minister r veiled that issues touched upon included enhancement of diplomatic relations, security and economic partnership and planned parliamentary elections as well as resumption of talks between Somaliland and Somalia.

UK state minister for foreign affairs in charge of Africa and DFID Ms Harriet Baldwin with Somaliland FM Dr Saad Ali Shire at a presser in Hargeisa

“The United Kingdom is the largest Development and humanitarian donor to Somaliland” Said the FM adding that the visiting British delegation has pledged to pursue further avenues of increasing this support.For Ms Harriet Baldwin “it is a honour for me to visit for the first time, this country whose history is closely intertwined with that of Great Britain”
Informing that she has in the course of her delegation inspection visited a number of projects funded by the UK, the British state minister for foreign affairs said that status were very impressive.
“We can confidently affirm that funds donated by my country are being utilized usefully”Said Ms Baldwin
Informing that the successful utilization of donated funds is an impetus, Minister Harriet Baldwin revealed that the government in London has contributed £25m to the Somaliland Development Fund-SDFThe SDF is a multimillion pounds body in which friendly countries chip in to support Development projects in Somaliland in close cooperation with various state agencies in all regions of the country
On discussions at the meeting chaired by President Muse Bihi, the visiting British minister in charge of Africa reiterated what had earlier on been informed by the Somaliland foreign minister.

While not publicly divulged sources indicate that the government of the United Kingdom is very keen on Parliamentary elections which though planned for March 2019, seem very unlikely.
Similarly the UK is also pursuing the resumption of stalled talks between Somaliland and Somalia which were initiated during the London Conference of 2012.

President Muse Bihi chairs a meeting between Somaliland officials and a UK delegation led by Minister Baldwin in Hargeisa

The parliamentary elections in Somaliland have become very controversial Following s verse postponements that have not only ensued with current members enjoying a 12 years tenure but becoming a source of acrimonious between the administration in Hargeisa and international partners including the UK who are major donors to the Somaliland democratization process.

watch UK and Somaliland meet in Hargeisa October 2018

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