According to multiple sources present at the confirmation hearing of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Essa Kayd Mohamoud, the President of the Republic of Somaliland HE Muse Bihi Abdi will visit the United States in the coming weeks.
This news comes shortly after the conclusion of a visit by a US Congressional staff delegation from the Senate Foreign Relations, House Foreign Affairs, and House Appropriations and Conservation Committees to Somaliland on what was described as a fact-finding mission.
In addition to the Congressional Staff delegation’s visit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Essa Kayd Mohamoud was in the United States late last year as his first foreign visit where he had met with numerous current and former high ranking government officials and it is unclear if paving the way for President Bihi’s visit is a direct result of the delegation’s visit and meetings in Washington DC.
President Bihi’s visit comes at a time when the United States has shown a heightened interest in Somaliland as of late despite the failure of a monumental amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act requiring the Departments of State and Defense to work directly with Somaliland on matters pertaining to security submitted Senator Risch.
Somaliland’s global stature has been on the rise following a string of diplomatic successes and a boost to its democratic credentials following the successful nationwide one-person-one-vote Parliamentary and local council elections with minimal outside help and for rebuffing Chinese overtures to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
The United States has been in a race to turn the tide of rising Chinese influence in Africa and particularly in the strategically important Horn of Africa where the People’s Republic of China has its first overseas military base in Djibouti.
Officials at Somaliland Presidency and Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Ministry did not respond to questions relating to the President’s visit to the United States.