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Somaliland Sun Editorial Team, May 20, 2013
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|Somaliland: Kenya Invites President Silanyo|
|Saturday, 02 June 2012 23:53|
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) - Diplomatic relations between Somaliland and Kenya are set to receive a boost soon
This development comes after the President H.E. Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo accepted an official invitation from the prime minister of Kenya Hon Raila Amolo Odinga who said that the government in Nairobi considers Somaliland as an important partner in the Horn of Africa.
Following the acceptance of the invitation the minister of the presidency Hon Hirsi Ali Haji Hasan is in Nairobi where he was dispatched to lay the groundwork for president Silanyo's visit and subsequent itinerary while in Kenya.
While briefing members of the press in the VIP lounge at Berbera airport before his departure, Hon Hirsi Ali said that his mission in Nairobi where he will be for a number of days is to make preparations for the president's itinerary in Kenya as pursuant to planned talks with Kenya officials.
He revealed that the official invitation from Prime Minister Raila Odinga states that discussions between the countries will centre on strategies for improved diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries that share common development issues in the Horn of Africa as well as in Inter- Governmental Authority on Development-IGAD.
"Talks in Kenya will mostly dwell on enhanced cooperation within IGAD especially in the community development and security sectors" Said Hon Hirsi
The presidency minister said that the visit to Kenya by Silanyo that will include a meeting with President Mwai Kibaki, Members of parliament, Business leaders and the host Prime Minister Raila Odinga, comes at a time when IGAD members are deliberating Somaliland's request for membership in the regional organization.
With VP Sayli currently in Djibouti following an invitation from that country's Prime Minister Dileita M Dileita, The Kenyan invitation is a clear indication that Somaliland's star within the region is at its apex.
The prime minister Raila Amolo Odinga is a known friend of Somaliland having not only visited the country several times but has publicly declared his support for the country's prolonged quest for recognition as a sovereign nation. Though all these were when Raila was in the opposition, since his appointment as prime minister he has been a regular participant in events organized by Kenyan Somalilanders in Nairobi.
Since Raila joined the government his point man in Somaliland issues has been Hon Farah Ma'alim, the deputy speaker of the Kenya parliament who has visited Somaliland on various occasions either as delegation leader or individually. Farah Ma'alim who is of Somali origin has also raised the issue of Somaliland's recognition at the Kenyan parliament on several occasions.
While Kenya is known to court Somaliland's support since its military incursion Somalia, purportedly to protect its citizens from the Al-shabaab terrorism menace, and Somaliland known to have brushed aside the courting, if Raila makes the right noises in the right places, the international community will have no excuse for recognizing Somaliland.
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