The government of Somalia has welcomed the announcement by the US that its Mission to Somalia is commencing operations.
In a statement today, Office of the Prime Minister said the commencement of the operations which is set to prepare ground for a full US diplomatic presence in Somalia was a welcome note and that Somalia was ready to further strengthen the U.S.-Somalia bilateral relations.
“President Mohamud, Prime Minister Sharmarke, and the Somali people thank the U.S. government for its continuous support to Somalia and look forward to continued friendship, collaboration, and deep partnership between the two countries,” read the statement in part.
The U.S. State Department yesterday announced the United States Mission to Somalia which is currently based in Nairobi would commence operations even as they wait for a new ambassador to be appointed by the president and approved by senate.
US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said the new mission reflects continuation of U.S. efforts to normalize the U.S.-Somalia bilateral relationship since recognizing the Federal Government of Somalia on January 17, 2013.
“We appreciate and value U.S. efforts to promote good governance, accelerate the development of our security forces, and help us lay the foundations necessary for sustainable and enduring prosperity,” said the Somali Prime Minister today.
President Mohamud and Prime Minister Sharmake said they welcome the U.S. Mission to Somalia Chargé d’Affaires and look forward to receiving the next U.S. Ambassador to Somalia once appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The move to resume full diplomatic relations by the U.S. is an indication of that country’s enhanced involvement in the region particularly in relation to the war on terror in the Horn of Africa.
The increased presence of China both in Somalia and neighbouring country Djibouti could also be indicators of an enhanced need for the US to stamp its footprint in Somalia. The strategic location of the two countries both in terms of trade and geo-political interests make it critical for the two major powers to establish a full presence.