Thursday June 23, 2022
Abu Dhabi (HOL) - Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held talks with the President of the UAE, Mohamed Bin Zayed, in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday during an official state visit to the UAE. The two heads of state addressed the prospects of enhancing cooperation between the two nations. The two sides discussed the ongoing efforts to establish peace in Somalia.
The President was received at the Qasr Al Shati' Palace, where the UAE president welcomed the Somali leader's visit and congratulated him on his election to Somalia's presidency.
According to Villa Somalia, the two sides agreed to improve cooperation on security, trade and development.
"The two leaders discussed issues of mutual interest, including strengthening bilateral ties."
These discussions will likely focus on Somalia seeking a more robust partnership in security, the economy, humanitarian crisis and trade.
From the UAE side, the meeting was attended by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of State; and Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to UAE President; along with Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council and Mohamed Ahmed Al Othman, UAE Ambassador to Somalia.
According to sources, the UAE is poised to reengage with Somalia and is reportedly planning several initiatives, including a $20M donation to drought relief efforts and resuming direct flights to Mogadishu. There are also plans to reopen Sheikh Zayed hospital, which closed in 2018 after a disagreement with Somalia's previous government led by Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
President Mohamud's visit marked the first time a Somali president visited the UAE in nearly five years. While officially neutral, former President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo strengthened relations with Qatar at the expense of other Gulf nations during the 2017 Gulf Crisis. Qatar enjoyed close ties with Somali President Farmajo, whose chief of staff, intelligence director and national security advisor, Fahad Yasin, previously worked on his successful electoral campaign as a Qatari liaison.