Kenya is keen to enhance and broaden trade in goods and services, as well as an investment as the cornerstone for long-term development cooperation with Somaliland.
A statement from State House Nairobi after a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somaliland guest President Musa Bihi stated that Kenya is seeking stronger relations between the two countries to bolster security, economic and social interactions.
“Somaliland is an important partner in the Horn of Africa region in the fight against terrorism and particularly Al-Shabaab,” the statement read.
“Kenya has no diplomatic presence is Somaliland, but takes cognizance of the political and economic stability of the region and is keen to enhance and broaden trade in goods and services, as well as investment as the cornerstone for long-term development cooperation with the region.”
State House further said Kenyatta is seeking intensified cooperation in the banking and financial sector to accelerate investment opportunities for both parties. Kenya Airways flights connecting Nairobi and Hargeisa to enhance trade and movement is carefully being explored.
President Musa Bihi is on an official tour of Kenya on invitation from President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The two held talks on Monday morning to discuss matters of mutual interest between the two former British colonies.
This was the first official visit to Nairobi by President Bihi since he took over Somaliland in 2017.
President Bihi has been making forays across Africa in a push to have Somaliland gain international recognition. He is aiming to take advantage of Kenya’s position in the United Nations Security Council to lobby for this.
The Somaliland president has previously visited Guinea on a similar campaign.
The visit to Guinea and the latest visit to Kenya have elicited sharp reactions from Somalia who have gone ahead to cut diplomatic ties with the two countries.
On Tuesday, Somalia announced it had severed diplomatic ties with Kenya citing interference and violation of her sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Somalia Minister of Information Osman Abukar Dubbe said the country will withdraw all its diplomats from Kenya and has ordered Kenyan diplomats to leave the country within 7 days.
‘’Somalia wants all its diplomats to go back to Mogadishu and Kenyan diplomats have 7 days to leave the country,’’ said Osman Dubbe.
He further added that Somalia decided to officially cut diplomatic ties with Kenya because of the latter’s frequent ‘interference’ with her politics and Kenya always wanting to create problems in Somalia.