Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the two countries stand to gain from their partnership despite the hurdles they face in terms of international recognition.
In a tweet, the senator said: “The U.S. is happy that it has friends in Africa like Somaliland who support Africa.”
“Recognition of Taiwanese partnership from the international community will only continue to grow in the face of a dangerous and malign Chin,” the statement added.
Taiwan and Somaliland find themselves in a similar position with both being self-governing democracies that remain unrecognized by most of the world.
Somaliland and Taiwan have pursued stronger ties after swapping de facto embassies in 2020, much to the ire of China and Somalia.
Somalia referred to the establishment of the representative offices as a “reckless attempt” to infringe on its sovereignty. China accused Taiwan of “acting with desperation.”
Somaliland declared independence from Somalia during the 1991 civil war but remains unrecognized by much of the international community.
Despite Somaliland being a picture of stability in the region, Somalia refers to it as an infringement on its sovereignty.
Similarly, China sees Taiwan as its own territory, indulging in saber-rattling, which has increased markedly under President Xi Jinping.
Taiwan has diplomatic ties with just 14 countries, including just one African nation, the kingdom of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland.
Neither Taiwan or Somaliland is recognized by the United Nations.
Senator Risch is among a growing number of senators and members of Congress who favor strong relations between the two nations and a full diplomatic recognition for Somaliland.
In March this year, U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, today introduced the Somaliland Partnership Act to require the Department of State to report to Congress on engagement with Somaliland, and to conduct a feasibility study, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, regarding the establishment of a partnership between the United States and Somaliland.
“The United States continues to be a steadfast partner of the Somali people and its federal government, but the Biden Administration has limited itself to the confines of a ‘single Somalia’ policy at the detriment of other democratic actors in the country,” said Risch.
“In this complex time in global affairs and for the Horn of Africa, the United States should explore all possible mutually-beneficial relationships with stable and democratic partners, like Somaliland, and not limit ourselves with outdated policy approaches and diplomatic frameworks that don’t meet today’s challenges.”
“As the Horn of Africa faces increasingly destabilizing currents, enhancing our cooperation with those in the region that value democratic governance and fundamental freedoms is key to advancing U.S. interests, improving regional stability, and supporting the rule of law and human rights.
For decades, Somaliland has proven itself to be an area with a stable, thriving democracy amidst a sea of conflict.
That’s why increasing opportunities for U.S. engagement with Somaliland makes sense. Our bill will help ensure the United States explores the greater possibilities of this mutually-beneficial relationship,” said Van Hollen.