Somalia Eyes Rapprochement with Kenya in Nod to Allies

NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s federal government eyes rapprochement with Kenya following years of strained relations, at the heart of which is dispute over maritime boundary.

For the first time in more than three years, Somalia’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad said his government viewed Kenya as its most important neighbor where thousands of Somalis live, having escaped conflict in their home country.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Somalia’s embassy in Nairobi, Mr Awad reiterated that the federal government based in Mogadishu is committed to “making decisions vital for rapprochement with its neighbors”.

Somalia reopened its embassy headquarters in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi after 30 years following the collapse of the country’s central government in a ceremony that hosted Kenyan and Somali diplomats as well as a number of foreign ambassadors.

“Somalia always makes decisions growing harmonious relations to facilitate movement of goods and social integration,” said Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad, adding that his country was “needed not to shut itself inside a room” while countries in the region were edging closer to each other.

Kenya has been a staunch supporter of the Somali opposition and regional administrations against the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo including Jubaland and Puntland.

The moment Mr Awad was providing remarks at the reopening ceremony of Somalia’s embassy in Nairobi, a meeting between main opposition leader Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and the leaders of Puntland and Jubaland States was underway in the Kenyan capital.

Somali political analysts say the FM’s remarks show that the federal government is eying possible rapprochement of ties with Kenya in nod to allies to bring an end to Nairobi’s support for the federal government’s opposition.

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