By Magdalene Mukami and Mohammed Dhaysane
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – The U.S. reopened its embassy in war-torn Somalia on Wednesday after 28 years.
“The United States is proud to announce the reestablishment of the United States Embassy in Mogadishu,” the United States Mission to Somalia said in a statement on its website.
It said despite closing the embassy, the U.S. has never ignored Somalia or ceased dealing with the country.
“Since the closure on January 5, 1991, the United States has maintained its partnership with the Somali people, including the re-establishment of a permanent diplomatic presence in Mogadishu in December 2018 with the U.S. Mission to Somalia.”
The statement noted that the reestablishment of the embassy in Mogadishu is another step forward in the resumption of regular U.S.-Somali relations, “symbolizing the strengthening of U.S.-Somalia relations and advancement of stability, development, and peace for Somalia, and the region.”
Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, who officiated the event, said that “today we reaffirm the relations between the American people and the Somali people, and our two nations. It is a significant and historic day that reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years, and another step forward in regularizing U.S. diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognizing the federal government of Somalia in 2013.”
-Qatar affirms relations with Somalia
Qatar on Wednesday also vowed that it would continue its relief and development assistance to Somalia.
The announcement was made by Saif bin Muqaddam Al Buainain, advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs and head of the delegation of the State of Qatar to the meetings of the Somalia Partnership Forum, which kicked off in Mogadishu on Tuesday and ended Wednesday.
“Buainain underlined that the State of Qatar will continue to implement the $200 million grant to support Somalia's vital infrastructure and to build on the support which has exceeded $220 million since 2010 in the field of development, charity and humanitarian in coordination with international partners and specialized UN agencies,” Qatar said in a statement Wednesday.
He noted that Qatar will aid Somalia in modernizing its military, and part of the partnership involves 68 modern military vehicles being given in the form of a grant to Somalia.