Kenya, Somalia agree to enhance bilateral ties

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Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo (left) and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta during a press conference in Nairobi on November 14, 2019. Somalis in Mogadishu demanding a solution to the maritime boundary dispute between Somalia and Kenya, after the ICJ agreed to hear the case in 2017. PHOTO | PSCU
Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo (left) and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta during a press conference in Nairobi on November 14, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

Kenyan and Somali foreign ministers spoke on phone Wednesday where they resolved to improve bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries.

Kenya’s foreign affairs cabinet secretary Raychelle Omano and Somali foreign minister Mohamed Abdirizak Mohamud reaffirmed the need to expeditiously reopen their two respective missions.

“The ministers expressed a strong wish to improve trade, security and cultural relations between Kenya and Somalia,” Kenya’s foreign ministry said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The two ministers also emphasized the importance of normalizing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

They also agreed to keep bilateral diplomatic channels of communications open between the two capitals in all matters of future diplomatic relations.

The thawing of relations between the two nations came after Kenya on June 10 lifted its ban on flights to and from Somalia after a nearly one-month ban amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

Somalia later welcomed the resumption of flights and reiterated its commitment to restore and accelerate diplomatic, trade, and people-to-people relations for the prosperity of Somalia and Kenya.

Somalia in December 2020 severed its diplomatic ties with neighboring Kenya, accusing Nairobi of frequently violating Mogadishu’s sovereignty. Mogadishu restored diplomatic relations with Nairobi on May 5 with mediation by Qatar.

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