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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Meet Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohammed on Thursday

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Meet Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohammed on Thursday

January 16
18:41 2013

somalia

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohammed on Thursday at the headquarters of the US State Department.

This would be the first formal meeting between them since the President came to office, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said as quoted by Radio Sawa this morning, pointing out that the Secretary had met with him last fall during a visit to Africa.

During his visit to the US which began yesterday and will last for several days, the Somali President will hold talks with senior US officials on a number of issues of common interest as well bilateral and regional topics including security and development.

When the Secretary meets with Hassan Sheikh tomorrow, she will exchange diplomatic notes with him and recognize the Somali Government in Mogadishu for the first time in 20 years, since the collapse of the Siad Barre government in 1991.

We believe that over the last four years, our policies in Somalia and in the region have made a significant difference in strengthening stability in Mogadishu and in helping to get rid of the key members of the East Africa al-Qaida cell as well as breaking the back of al-Shabaab. We have done this largely with and through and alongside of our African partners in AMISOM. This has been a major, major success.

We are a long way from where we were on October 3, 1993, when Blackhawk Down occurred in Mogadishu. Significant progress has been made in stabilizing the country, in helping to break up and defeat al-Shabaab. Much more needs to be done, but we think enormous progress has been made, and we have been at the very center of this in our support for AMISOM. I’d be glad to go into more details on this, but Hassan Sheikh will, through this recognition, be able to establish new relationships not only with USAID and the various development partners in the U.S. Government, but will also open up opportunities for his government to receive assistance from the international financial communities.

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