Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (R) and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi pose for photographs before addressing a joint news conference in Mogadishu November 14, 2012.
REUTERS/Omar Faruk

Iran said it would set up an embassy in Mogadishu and Turkey promised to rebuild Somalia’s parliament building, as the two neighbors, at odds over Syria, vied for influence in the Horn of Africa country.

Somalia has been mired in violence, Islamist militancy and grinding poverty since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, leaving the country with no effective central government for two decades.

But security has improved in the last 18 months with al Qaeda-linked militants losing more territory under their control under pressure from African Union and Somali forces.

The country is looking to foreign donors to help rebuild its ravaged economy after decades of conflict.

Tehran’s move to open an embassy followed Turkey’s decision to set up its embassy in Mogadishu last year.

The two states are at odds over the conflict in Syria, and it was not immediately clear if the two foreign ministers had met on the sidelines in Mogadishu.

Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (R) and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attend a joint news conference in Mogadishu November 14, 2012.
REUTERS/Omar Faruk

Sunni Muslim Turkey backs the largely Sunni rebels who are mired in a civil war against President Bashar al Assad’s forces, who are mostly Alawite, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, the dominant religion in Iran.

Shi’ite Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said his country was keen to stand by the Somali people, but Tehran is also seeking to counter the influence of Western countries and its Sunni neighbors by extending its reach to parts of majority Muslim African countries.

Salehi told reporters after meeting Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud that apart from the embassy, his country would also open a new clinic.

“(Iran) will do its best so that Somalia will make up for the past 20 years of crisis that it has gone through,” he said.

It was not immediately clear when the embassy would open.

Previously, Somalia had only five functioning embassies operating in the country: Djibouti, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Ethiopia. Most other countries tend to handle Somali operations from neighboring Nairobi.

While security has improved in Mogadishu, the militants have been launching guerrilla-style attacks.

The four-year insurgency waged by al Shabaab left Mogadishu in ruins. Turkey has taken a leading role in the redevelopment of the city, as it seeks to boost its profile in Africa and promote itself as a model Muslim democracy.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said his country would rebuild the parliament building after which, he said, “We shall construct streets in Mogadishu and other government buildings.”

Turkish Airlines has operated regular flights to Mogadishu since March.

(Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by James Macharia and Michael Roddy)



  1. what about somaliland i mean even though we are peaceful we should be acknowledged by the world as well. this may lead to an unhealthy rivalry between somaliland and somalia if the latter is being favoured by the ic

    • The latter is being favored by the IC because the latter is a country recognized by all 193 UN member states whereas the former is not formally recognized as a country by even a single foreign newspaper publication. There will be no unhealthy rivalry between Somaliland and Somalia. Somaliland saw it as beneficial to break off from Somalia but they clearly haven't thought of the negatives of such a move (such as foreign countries not opening up their embassies in Hargeisa). There are two sides of the coin, remember that. I know I speak for all Somalis that we hope the best for you and hope Somaliland succeeds in all things it hopes to accomplish. But please, stop with the naivety and ignorance. Of course one will be favored over the other, and for obvious reasons.

      • recognition of somaliland will inevitably come its not the end of the world well keep our peace and you keep ur recognition, war and famine

        • Cheap shots at me and my country due to your bitterness doesn't change the facts or the reality. Like I said, I hope Somaliland succeeds in all things it wants to achieve in. But don't start crying and whining when things don't go your way.


          • what am i bitter about? having peace and not worried about getting my hands chopped off! come on man be honest with yourself somaliland is gone just accept the reality maybe it will help make the situation in ur country better by focusing on urselves instead of chatting crap about somaliland under the fufu amisom's protection (actually its a colonial adventure these monkeys are on and their raping ur women while ur weak men just look the other way)

  2. mashallah somalia is fully on the recovery. let us continue destroying the few al shabaab bases left in Gedo, bay and bakool regions.

    • I think somalia will be in the right bath when Federalism discontiue. the reasom why i'm saying this because the every state that was build sofar is based on tribe and that cause future war between the tribes. During the old regime tirbes was pronounce to some extint but now locking every tribe in a land which starts another erro of tirbepolism that is bad decistion. Somalia are not educated enough to run as federlism as western country.

  3. One at the time, the international community are not Stupids like some of you here. Somalia is the problem of the international, while Somaliland is the peace heaven, and a place that checks out the terrorists and piracy, that is the reason they IC, currently busy to help. They want their enemy Al-Shabaab go away, and by the time this is realized, they will then encourage the two state solution and in force, because there is no other alternatives.

    Somaliland is here to stay and doing well, without the IC help in which strings are attached every step of the way. Do you Wanlaweyns believe Turkey and Iran are helping you for no reason?

    • If Somaliland is recognized it will bring war to the region, the IC knows this , because their is no way in hell that all the other tribes will sit by while all their Lands are annexed by a one clan state, plus the only one country that is truly trying to S/landers secede is Britain, which is funny they're about to lose Scotland and this is who worship and are running to, you die hard S/landers are sick.., running from your brothers and instead running to galoo, shame on you

  4. Every piece of good news from Somalia pains and betrays the feelings of some desperate folks here . Let us hope most of the haters like the Abbyssinian Abdiwahab go away and make their venmous comments in Ethiopian Reporter or similar pages. Every comment that this man makes is why Somalia and what about Somaliland?

    Abdwahab, we are all Somalis here. Every piece of good news from Ras Kamboni to Loya Ado is good news for every Somali including those under occupation. Your comments will only encourage Somali enemies such as Jarso, Kaboom and other Ethiopians who are trying to stoke the fire in Somalia. For most of us any progress and development made by Hargeisa and Borama is not different from any progress made in anywere else in Somalia; we will be happy for it.

    • shut up u darood scum i am a noble isaaq somali from the rep. of s/land and i say no to fairytale somaliweyn crap

  5. This is HAWIYE WARRIOR from now on i'm Irir Samaale representing all Somalis yes even those confused once that are still thinking they're Arabs

    These Iranians were caught red handed with their pants down in bed with the Shabaab at a time its was at its strongest. But then everything changed when Shabaab after putting much heavy resistant lost the capital Mogadishu creating a domino effect in return for them.

    The Iranians seeing that thought to themselves that it will be in their best interest in the long run to switch sides and started supporting what was then know as the TFG. What i don't think but hope they prove me wrong is that they've backed away 100% from supporting Shabaab not even 99% will do which only time will tell. I gotta give it to them they're cleaver people these Persian

    All in all saying that on the other hand the Iranians were very crucial in supplying Aid for Somalia's 2011 man made drought and those before it. The reason why i'm saying man made is because its been proven that were there a government to support the farmers in the last 20 years on their infrastructure instead of them just relying on rain then it could of been avoided. Maybe not totally but definitively on that scale where 10's of thousands of people died.

    • Stop giiving wrong information to somali public as a whole" irir samali" don't represent all somalis but 35% of somali population.the total seats belongs to" irri samali" in the parliament is 98 out of 275 seats.

      Darood 58 seats,Digil mirifle 61,other 58 seats share other somali tribes such as,Bajuun,Hintiro,Meheri,rer ow hassan,Yaxar,Yibir,AJuuran,Tumaal,Jareer weyn,Carab somali,Garjente,Muuse dhari,Asharaaf,Banaadiri.

      Again spreading lies it's not the way to put your case forward.iran never supply any weapon to Al-shabab what so ever, even if they do Al-shabab will not accept al-shabab link to Al-Qaeda don't like shia.

  6. Strong and effective government + Nationalists parliament + Improving peace and defeat of Shabaab + strong friend like Turkey, UK, Iran…. + dialogues within Somalis on peace + reconstruction ……= strong and peaceful Somalia.
    Things are changing fast!!

  7. Anyone else noticed how H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud is smiling with the Turkish Foreign Minister
    while looking somber with the Iranians