Somali President Hassan Sheikh meets UAE President in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi – President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held talks with the United Arab Emirates [UAE] His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at a conference as the country steps up efforts to combat violent extremism.
Somalia has been cracking down on al-Shabaab extortionists who control large swaths of rural areas in the center and south of the country, but has recently lost a large chunk. The Somali military has been working with the U.S. Africa Command and the African Union Transitional Mission in Somalia during the war.
According to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two leaders discussed continuing relations and areas for further cooperation between the two countries, “especially in terms of strengthening the development and stability of Somalia”.
The Defense Ministry reported that the meeting between the leaders of the two countries took place at the International Defense Exhibition [IDEX 2023]is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center [ADNEC]. The UAE leader thanked the visiting Somali president, noting Abu Dhabi’s keenness to promote peace and stability in Mogadishu.
“Following the meeting, the UAE President visited the pavilions of many national and international companies participating in IDEX and was briefed on some of the latest innovations and technologies in the defense industry,” the ministry noted.
During the visit, President Sheikh Mohamed was accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Special Advisor to the Presidential Court; the The ministry noted that Issa Saif Mohammed Al Mazrouei, chief engineer of the staff, is the chief of staff of the UAE Armed Forces.
Somalia has recently been working closely with the UAE following the restoration of relations following Hassan Sheikh Mohammed’s victory in May 2022. Somalia’s relations with the UAE were frosty during the reign of Mohammad Abdullahi Farmajo, whose ties to Qatar ruined the UAE’s fortunes in the Horn of Africa nation.
The president has been shuttled diplomatically, calling for support from international partners, especially in the war against al-Shabaab, which has been driving destabilization in the country. Somalia has partly managed to rid itself of militants on several fronts.