Somalia’s Unity Draws Concern from Saudi Arabia

In a significant development marking the ties between Saudi Arabia and the Federal Republic of Somalia, a joint statement was issued on Sunday at the end of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s official visit to the Kingdom, underscoring the mutual concern for Somalia’s sovereignty and unity.

Reflecting the strong relations between Saudi Arabia and the Federal Republic of Somalia, the visit, which took place on April 6, 2024, came at the invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and was aimed at bolstering the fraternal relations between the two nations.

Demonstrating the close bond between Saudi Arabia and the Federal Republic of Somalia, President Mohamud was warmly received by the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, at Al-Safa Palace in Makkah.

Highlighting the diplomatic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the Federal Republic of Somalia, the leaders discussed various aspects of bilateral relations, with a focus on economic, trade, and investment cooperation. Notably, trade between the two countries saw a remarkable increase of 105% from 2021 to 2022, highlighting the growing economic ties.

Noteworthy for the connection between Saudi Arabia and the Federal Republic of Somalia, the two sides also explored opportunities presented by Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, agreeing to boost investment in sectors such as agriculture, livestock, fisheries, transportation, and logistics services.

The discussions extended to the importance of maintaining stability in the global energy markets, with Somalia commending the Kingdom’s role in ensuring a balanced oil market conducive to sustainable economic growth.

A significant part of the discussions was dedicated to enhancing military and security cooperation, aiming to combat terrorism, smuggling, and other forms of crime through shared information and resources.

Saudi Arabia praised Somalia’s efforts under President Mohamud’s leadership in restoring security and combating terrorist organizations, emphasizing the need for international support in these endeavors.

The Kingdom expressed its support for the lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia by the UN Security Council, a move seen as crucial for building Somali security forces capable of maintaining peace after the withdrawal of African Union forces.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia welcomed the decision by international creditors to forgive Somalia’s debt, recognizing the country’s successful economic reforms.

A particularly noteworthy aspect of the joint statement was the Kingdom’s expression of concern regarding the memorandum of understanding that Ethiopia signed with the Somali region (Somaliland), reaffirming its support for Somalia’s unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity in line with the Arab League’s decision.

The leaders also discussed broader regional issues, including the situation in Palestine, Yemen, and Sudan, stressing the importance of international efforts to resolve these conflicts and maintain regional stability.

The visit concluded with President Mohamud expressing gratitude for the hospitality and support from the Kingdom, while the Crown Prince wished further progress and prosperity for the Somali people, reinforcing the deep-rooted friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

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