ADDIS ABABA (Somalilandpress) — Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abdullahi Duale has visited the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday to meet with U.S. officials to prepare for high-level Somaliland delegation visit to Washington, Somaliland’s official news agency reported on Friday.
Duale’s visit will pave the way for an official visit to the country by high level of Somaliland delegation after receiving an invitation from the Obama administration.
Mr. Duale met with Mr. Karl E. Wycoff, Deputy Assistant Secretary (Acting), Bureau of African Affairs, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Ambassador John Yates, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Ethiopia and Kirk McBride, Political/Economic Counselor at the US embassy in Ethiopia.
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During the hour-long meeting at the Sheraton Hotel, Mr. Duale briefed the U.S. officials on the current situation, U.S.-Somaliland relations, security in the region and urged the U.S. to give Somaliland assistance in democracy, development and to strengthen the relationship between the two states.
Mr. Wycoff said he was very pleased with the progress Somaliland has made over the years in democracy, stability and development. He praised the leadership, citizens and the government for their achievements and made it clear that the US-Somaliland relationship will strengthen and is one based on mutual interest. He added that the upcoming visit to Washington will be fruitful and beneficial for both nations.
No official date has yet been set for the visit but it is expected the delegation will leave Hargeisa for Washington in the coming days.
Mr. Duale was accompanied by Ayanle Salad Deria, Somaliland Deputy Ambassador to Ethiopia.
After being a British protectorate since 1884, Somaliland became an independent country on June 26, 1960, five days later, it unified with the South and the two became known as the Republic of Somalia. However that union failed and after a bloody-war, Somaliland declared independence from the rest of the failed state in 1991.
No country has since recognised even though it enjoys diplomatic ties with a number of countries including Western and African nations.
Somalilandpress, 6 March 2010