Foreign Minister advocates for stronger relations in meetings with U.S. officials, lawmakers and experts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Somaliland Foreign Minister Yasin Hagi Mohamoud today concluded his visit to the United States, which included meetings with counterparts in the Trump Administration, the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. Foreign Minister Mohamoud traveled to Washington, DC, New York, Ohio and Minnesota in his first trip to the United States since his appointment on November 10, 2018.

During his visit, Foreign Minister Mohamoud met with U.S. officials to encourage enhanced diplomatic, defense and commercial ties between the two countries. In the U.S. Congress, he met with Rep. Karen Bass (D-California), who beginning in January will chair the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. The Minister also met with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), a member of the Senate’s Africa Subcommittee, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Illinois) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia). In addition, he met with investors and economic development organizations to discuss the modernization of the Port of Berbera, improved conditions for oil production, and other promising opportunities for economic growth.

Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs Yasin Mahmoud Hiir and his delegation met Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia at his office in Washington DC.

Foreign Minister Mohamoud consulted with officials from the United Nations, Department of State, Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency for International Development during his visit. He addressed policy experts at the Atlantic Council and met with representatives from the Heritage Foundation, the International Crisis Group, the American Councils for International Education, the International Republican Institute and the Corporate Council on Africa. The Minister was also invited to, and attended, the 13 November address by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton announcing the Trump Administration’s new strategy toward Africa.

At United Nations headquarters in New York, the Foreign Minister met with Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Tayé-Brook Zerihoun. He was interviewed by reporters from The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, the BBC, and Voice of America.

Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs Yasin Mahmoud Hiir and his delegation met with Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

In addition, the Foreign Minister traveled to Ohio and Minnesota, where he met with members of the Somaliland diaspora.

At the conclusion of his visit, Foreign Minister Mohamoud released this statement:

“Our friends in the United States recognize mutual benefits to be gained from a stronger partnership with Somaliland. Somaliland’s independent but unrecognized status requires that it contend with unique diplomatic circumstances. At the same time, its role as a democratic example for others, a conduit for expanded regional commerce, and a bulwark of security in a strategic part of the world is recognized and valued. Somaliland looks forward to working with the U.S. Administration and Congress to advance our partnership and shared interest in countering the threats of terrorism and piracy in the Horn of Africa.”

Somaliland became an independent, sovereign state on 26 June 1960 – an achievement acknowledged by all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and many other governments. Five days after independence, Somaliland united with Somalia with the aim of creating a “Greater Somalia,” bringing together all people of ethnic Somali origin in five countries in the Horn of Africa. Following the collapse of the Somali state in 1991, Somaliland withdrew from the union it had voluntarily entered in 1960 and reclaimed its independence. In the subsequent decades, Somaliland has built a functioning, stable, democratic state in an otherwise volatile Horn of Africa region. In seeking formal recognition by the international community, Somaliland serves a model for other nations that seek to govern responsibly and provide opportunities for their citizens.

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