HARGEISA (Somalilandpress) — A Kenyan delegation comprising of seven members visited Somaliland’s capital on Tuesday morning for talks on wide range of issues of common concern.
The delegation headed by Kenya’s Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Farah Maalim, visited Hargeisa after receiving an official invitation from Somaliland’s parliament speaker, Mr Abdirahman Irro.
Upon arrival, the Kenyan delegation were received at Egal International airport by Somaliland’s parliament speaker, Mr Abdirahman Irro, Finance minister, Mr Awil Ali Duale, Interior minister, Mr Abdullahi Ismael Ali, mayor of Hargeisa, Mr Hussein Mohamoud, and members of parliament.
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At the airport’s VIP room, Mr Maalim told local reporters that their main objective was to gain first-hand experience of Somaliland and also find more about the living conditions of the displaced people from neighbouring Somalia.
Later in the evening, Mr Maalim met with the Somaliland president where the two discussed ways to further cement and develop bilateral relations between the two democratic states.
President Rayale briefly discussed the situation in Somaliland and it’s past history before thanking the Kenyan officials for their visit. Rayale also said it was unfortunate that African states, in particular East African nations were not acknowledging Somaliland’s democratic success and its ability to establish functioning institutions without outside help.
Mr Maalim, on behalf of the Kenyan delegation, thanked the president, government and the people of Somaliland for their warm welcome and host.
The delegation will spend few days in Somaliland and are scheduled to meet with various political leaders, civil society and other officials before they return to Nairobi.
This is the first such visit by high level delegation from Kenya since Somaliland reclaimed it’s statehood from Somalia, after a brief never-ratified union between the two states failed.
The visit, though brief, is seen rich in content and a step forward in Somaliland’s regional policy.