By: Mohamed Selh
Somalia president met with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin on Thursday, the meeting was focused on strengthening the capacity of Somalia’s military to battle Al Shabaab, which US generals have described as Al Qaeda’s most lethal outfit.
Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout
secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, to the Pentagon today.
The leaders discussed the work that President Hassan Sheikh’s administration has done to counter violent extremism in Somalia and the Department’s support to Somalia’s security forces. The two exchanged views on the security outlook for the Horn of Africa in light of climate shocks, humanitarian issues, conflict, and the threat of violent extremism.
Secretary Austin reaffirmed the Department’s commitment to countering violent extremism and expressed appreciation for President Hassan Sheikh’s administration’s willingness to host U.S. forces. He praised President Hassan Sheikh’s leadership in reinvigorating the Somali security forces and proactively engaging with the U.S. and international partners. The two look forward to further developing the bilateral defense relationship.