NAIROBI (SP) — Somali Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fowzia Yusuf Haji Adan has met in the Kenyan capital with her Kenyan counterpart Sam Ongeri.
Enhancing existing bilateral relations and boosting security cooperation were some of the core issues discussed during a meeting held behind closed doors according to Hiiraan Online.
Mrs. Adan, who arrived on Monday afternoon, has requested Kenya’s assistance in rebuilding the Somali National Army (SNA) in an effort to boost security and stabilise the war-ravaged nation. Prof. Ongeri has agreed to establishing cooperation mechanisms in the field of military training. Nairobi, whose armed forces are part of the African Union peacekeeping effort in Somalia, agreed to but not yet finalised to capacity building for Somalia’s armed forces and civil servants.
A team of technical experts appointed by the two east African nations in 2006 will resume dialogue and explore ways to advance ties.
Fowzia similarly met with the Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and sides exchanged views on bilateral ties, issues of common concern and the latest developments in the country in an active atmosphere.
During a press conference, She said Somali President Hassan Sheik Mohamud is due to visit Kenya during which he will be holding talks with President Mwai Kibaki. The two are set to discuss wide range of issues including controversial topics such as the formation of Jubbaland administration. Mr. Mohamud is currently on an official state visit to the Republic of Djibouti. While there he inaugurated a new Somali embassy that will be headed by Ambassador Abdulrahman Abdi Hussein (Guulwade).
Kenya, with the support of regional body IGAD and African Union, is lobbying for the establishment of an unofficial buffer-zone inside Somalia’s three southern regions of Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba and Gedo. The issue has placed Somalia’s new government at odd with Kenya and the US has secretly expressed concern saying it would add to the country’s current instability.
Mrs. Fowzia was appointed by Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and is part of a small cabinet of ten ministers that includes a second woman in an important position. She made history by becoming the first Somali woman to be appointed for Somalia’s most powerful and only independent ministry.
This is her second foreign trip following her trip to Djibouti almost two weeks ago to attend the 39th meeting of the foreign ministers of countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
EU committed to Somalia
In a separate development, Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon has received a European delegation led by EU’s special envoy to Somalia, Michele Cervone d’Urso on Tuesday at the Presidential villa.
Ambassador D’Urso said the EU was offering Somalia economic aid of up to 158 million euros ($200 million) to support education, judiciary system, reconstruction and security.
The PM praised the donation and said he was pleased to receive the EU team in Mogadishu, where security continues to improve.