WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 25, 2017 – Somaliland Foreign Minister Dr. Saad Ali Shire on Tuesday officially opened a Somaliland Representative Office in the United States. This new office will serve as a liaison to the Somaliland expatriate community nation-wide and represent Somaliland’s interests in the U.S. The opening took place during a week-long visit by the Foreign Minister to Washington, DC and New York City to meet with U.S. Government officials, United Nations agencies, policy experts, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and media representatives.
“I am pleased to open this new office, which will advance Somaliland’s interests in the United States,” Minister Shire said at the Representative Office’s opening ceremony. “I am visiting this week to update the U.S. Government and United Nations on the progress our nation has made – and the security, stability and democracy it enjoys. Having a permanent office representing Somaliland will ensure that our nation will have a sustained and recognizable voice in Washington,” Minister Shire concluded.
During his visit, Minister Shire has met with U.S. officials to encourage the new administration to deepen its partnership with Somaliland and support its pursuit of international recognition. The Foreign Minister has consulted with American counterparts on Somaliland’s efforts to counter serious security threats facing the region – including the risk of famine, terrorism and piracy – which ultimately impact U.S. national security. The Minister also explored avenues to secure an exemption for Somaliland citizens from recent U.S. executive orders barring entry into the United States by individuals from Somalia and five other nations.
Foreign Minister Shire consulted with officials from the Department of State, Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development and other policy makers, as well as Members of Congress during his visit. He also addressed policy experts at the Atlantic Council of the United States and met with NGO representatives at InterAction – a coalition of U.S.-based international NGOs that focus on humanitarian, disaster relief and global development programs. He also spoke to democracy-promotion advocates at the International Republican Institute – a nonprofit organization that advances freedom and democracy worldwide and has operations in Somaliland. He will conclude his visit in New York, where he is scheduled to meet with investors and United Nations officials.
The Republic of Somaliland is an autonomous government in the Horn of Africa that declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has built and maintained a functioning, stable, democratic state despite challenges confronted by others in the region. In seeking formal recognition by the international community, Somaliland serves a model for other nations striving for the strong governance and security its people have built.