Monday, June 28, 2013
By ABDULKADIR KHALIF
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud (right) walks next to Mr Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs inside Villa Somalia, the state house in Mogadishu, on June 27, 2013. ABDULKADIR KHALIF | NATION MEDIA GROUP NATION MEDIA GROUP
Norway has restored diplomatic relations with Somalia.
Norwegian minister for Development Cooperation Heikki Eidsvoll Holmes signed an agreement with Somalia’s minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ms Fawzia Haji Aden, in Mogadishu, to restore the links.
The ceremony was witnessed by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud at a compound next to Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport.
As soon as the bilateral documents were signed, Ms Fawzia stated: “The accord signed with Norway was a specimen of the kind of agreements the new Somali government would like to reach with its international partners.”
Mr Holmes said: “Norway is determined to revitalise the two-sided relations.”
“We discussed with Mr Holmes on ways Norway could participate in the rebuilding of Somalia,” said President Mohamoud.
He added: “We urge the rest of the international community to directly deal with the Somali government as today initiated by Norway.”
Meanwhile, President Mohamoud received Mr Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, at Villa Somalia, the state house in Mogadishu, on Thursday.
Mr Feltman came to Somalia to show the UN’s solidarity with the government and the people of Somalia, following the attack on a UN compound in the Somali capital.
“My government hugely welcomes this visit and its significance in demonstrating the UN’s solidarity with Somalia after last week’s UN compound attack on 19 June 2013,” said President Mohamoud.
He added: “Al-Shabaab’s aim was to terrorise the people and the UN staff who came to help the Somali people. However, today’s visit by the UN’s top political official, Jeffrey Feltman, is a strong sign of support to the people of Somalia and to show Al-Shabaab that they did not and cannot achieve their aim of terrorising our people into submission.”
Mr Feltham was visiting Mogadishu for the second time in this year. He indicated the international community’s intention to support the government and the Somali people.
Somalia lost its relations with the rest of the world following the collapse of the dictatorial regime of the late General Mohamed Siad Barre in January 1991.
The post-transitional government, led by President Mohamoud, is striving to restore ties with countries and institutions to boost the Horn of Africa country’s recovery from two decades of civil conflict.