Qatar has opened an embassy in Mogadishu, with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud meeting with the chargé d’affaires for the Qatari mission, Hassan bin Hamza Assad Mohammed, just four months after the UAE also opened an embassy in Somalia.
The Qatari diplomat conveyed the greetings of the Emir of Qatar H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Somali president, as well as his wishes for good health and happiness and continued progress and prosperity for Somalia, which President Mohamud reciprocated.
President Mohamud similarly received the UAE’s official request for the opening of an embassy In April, meeting with Ambassador Mohamed Al-Othman and thanking the UAE government and its people for their role in supporting the Somali people over the years.
“We are enormously appreciative of the UAE’s support to Somalia in terms of security, humanitarian and development works and we look forward to working together in pursuit of our mutual interests,” the President stated at the time.
“We are also grateful for your continuing efforts to build the capacity of our civil servants and to combat piracy, and we welcome your interest in the investment opportunities available in Somalia, from the energy and banking sectors to transportation and shipping.”
The UAE and Qatar are currently the only two GCC countries with official representation in the Somali. Just over half a dozen countries maintain missions in Mogadishu itself, but the majority of countries maintain non-resident embassies in either Nairobi or Addis Ababa.
In April last year, Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague also met with President Mohamud after the opening of a British embassy in Mogadishi, making it the first European to rebuild a direct connection with the country after more than two decades of civil war.
Hague told reporters that it was “testimony to the progress Somalia has made,” while the President, who has repeatedly called for countries to reopen their embassies, added, “We are hoping and expecting that many different flags will soon be flying in different parts of Mogadishu.”