President Bihi used the opportunity to speak at George Washington University’s prestigious Institute of African Studies.
Araweelo News Network
Hargeisa(ANN)- At a moment when the fundamental norms of the current liberal international order have been put to the test, the recent visit of a delegation led
by the President of the Republic of Somaliland, H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi, to the United States of
America, stands as a testament to the power of democratic values to continue to shape global
foreign policy and multilateral cooperation.
This visit, the first official invitation of a Somaliland
head of state by the U.S. government, is a culmination of three decades of deepening relations between the two countries, and following from the recent fact-finding mission of U.S. congressional staff to Somaliland in December 2021.
During their visit to the U.S., the delegation, made up of Somaliland ministers, government officials, businessmen and academicians, held official meetings with Biden administration officials, members of congress, UN senior officials, U.S. financial institutions, think tanks, civil society leaders and academic institutions to discuss ways to strengthen US-Somaliland engagement.
The overriding message of the Somaliland president over the course of this tour was clear, as
articulated in a keynote speech hosted by the storied American think-tank, the Heritage Foundation: “In a difficult neighborhood, Somaliland’s stability and reliability is increasingly recognized as an asset for advancing the interests of countries who share the same values”. Similar messages were relayed during the delegation’s tireless engagement with top U.S. government officials, including those from the U.S State Department, the U.S. National Security Council and
the U.S. Department of Defense, in which the foundations of a Somaliland-US partnership on
security cooperation, counter-terrorism, economic development and good governance were
While in Washington D.C., President Bihi used the opportunity to speak at George Washington
University’s prestigious Institute of African Studies, to discuss Somaliland’s political and economic progress. To advance such progress going forward, the delegation met with officials from the World Bank, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy to discuss areas of cooperation and support
The delegation also used the occasion to meet with Somaliland’s vibrant American diaspora
community, taking advantage of linkages between groups such as the Somaliland Professionals
Association of America (SLPA) and international champions of the Somaliland cause, including
Tibor Nagy, Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Michael Rubin,
resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, to promote Somaliland’s case for recognition
to a US audience.
Overall, President Bihi’s groundbreaking official U.S. tour has brought great pride and hope to
Somaliland and its supporters. Upon the President’s return on 26 March, throngs of men, women
and children gathered the streets of Somaliland to celebrate the increased recognition of
Somaliland’s achievements on an international stage. As Somaliland’s democratically elected
leader put it, at a speech marking his return: “My fellow Somalilanders…I am proud to share that
today marks the start of a new partnership with the United States of America”, while pointing to
the practical upshots of this new partnership: two pieces of legislation currently under review by
the U.S. Congress, one calling for the recognition of Somaliland, the other calling for the formal
establishment of a US-Somaliland partnership. Going forward, the Somaliland Government will
seek to cement these successes by advocating for the successful passage of such legislation, while
continuing to engage with the U.S. and its allies on areas of mutual concern.
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By Arraale M Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights activist.
Araweelo News Network.