Kenya and Somaliland have agreed to start diplomatic relations as early as next year, with Kenya set to open its Consulate in Hargeisa, Somalia by end of March 2021. Somaliland would also upgrade its Liaison Office in Nairobi within the same timeframe.
In a joint statement after President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Muse Abdi of Somaliland, the two agreed that Kenya Airways and other Kenyan airlines will commence direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa by end of March, 2021.
Also, senior officials from Kenya and Somaliland have been tasked to agree on details and timelines for enhancing technical cooperation, including implementation of Exchange Programmes involving Students, Agricultural Officers, Doctors, Nurses and other professionals.
“During their discussions, the leaders focused their attention on expansion of bilateral trade, enhancing collaboration in air transport including enabling direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa, as well as cooperating in Agriculture, Livestock development, Education, Energy and cooperation between the ports of Mombasa and Berbera,” the statement read in part.
President Muse Bihi Abdi expressed gratitude to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the people of Kenya, for the progress made in deepening bilateral relations during the visit, as well as the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.
“The two leaders acknowledged Kenya’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, strong and prosperous Somalia, in which the voices of all the people of Somalia have opportunity to express their sovereign will,” the statement added.
This comes at a time Kenya is engaged in a diplomatic tiff with Somalia, after the latter accused the former of interfering with its sovereignty through Somaliland.