By Goth Mohamed Goth
H.E President Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Silanyo met with the outgoing UK Deputy Ambassador Chris Allan, second in charge at British Embassy in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, today at the Presidential palace.
During the meeting President Silanyo and the outgoing Ambassador had lengthy discussions in which they explored ways to enhance existing and future bilateral relation between the Somaliland and the UK Government.
President Silanyo presented the Somali traditional attire as a personal gift of friendship to the outgoing British Ambassador.
Somaliland Foreign Minister briefing the media at a press conference moments after emerging from the closed door meeting had this to say, “It is a sad day to see a friend and an important ally of Somaliland go , this being his last official visit in his capacity as the Deputy Ambassador at British Embassy in Addis Abba Ethiopia, Ambassador Chris Allen has during his tenure reaffirmed the UK commitment to a strong and historic friendship with Somaliland and he has played an important role by enhancing the historic friendship between our people and has also by fostering political and development cooperation as well as stimulating investment in our country, I would also request your future support by presenting our case wherever you go ,today one behalf of fellow countrymen I want to wish you the best in your future endeavors and the people of Somaliland will always be grateful.
UK Deputy Ambassador Chris Allen speaking at the press conference said, “This is my last working visit to Somaliland as the British Deputy Ambassador to Ethiopia but I hope it won’t be my last visit because I hope and plan return in the future, because I have many friends here and I found working with Somaliland as the most rewarding experience of my professional life to date and as the Foreign Minister said, I shall always remain a friend of Somaliland and I look forward to return in the future.
“As I leave, I believe the relationship between Somaliland and the British is stronger than it has ever been, we have as the FM said a long historical relationship , Somalilanders and British people have fought along each other and we remembered this at a major event held at the war cemetery here in Hargeisa a few months ago and we remember this through our ongoing close cooperation on security between our armed forces such as the visits by HMS ships to Berbera and regular training conduct by UK specialists for the local security forces.
Deputy Ambassador Chris Allen went on to say , “Our relationship today is broad, it cover development assistance, where we have our largest ever programme here in Somaliland and probably the biggest bilateral donor in the international community supporting Somaliland including through the well-known Somaliland Development fund SDF which is for the first time channeling international support to the through the Government building the capacity for Somaliland to provide much needed services for its own people and I am proud that development has happened during my time here, we also have a much greater presence as the United Kingdom officially here in Somaliland than ever before , so our offices here have on average least 10 or more British developments, economic ,peace, security experts and diplomats spending time in the country working on the economic and security progress here in Somaliland and I am also proud we have being able built our relation in that area too.
Finally in the trade and commerce, during my time here in this job, we have hosted two major trade and investment events in London, British investors are begin to get more and more interested in Somaliland and they are traveling in greater numbers and we see them here every week and the level of support of at the events in London has actually being spectacular, there have been absolutely full with business people who want to establish investment here and that’s what we want to see in the long time we want to move from beyond the basis such as the development and security support to a more mature relationship based on trade , commerce and equality , the British government is proud with its relationship with Somaliland and I am personally proud to have had the opportunity to have worked in one of the world most special places, Thank You All.
Also present at the meeting were Vice President Abdurrahman Abdullah Ismael (Saylic), Minister in Charge of Presidential Affairs Hon Hirsi Ali Haji Hassan , Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Bihi Mohamed Yunis and Minister of Finance Hon Abdiaziz Mohamed Samale.