Somalia: Kenya called upon to reopen diplomatic mission, enhance ties

Somalia has called on Kenya to reopen its diplomatic mission in Mogadishu following the normalization of ties between the two neighboring countries.

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Mogadishu would reciprocally reopen its embassy in Nairobi to resume full diplomatic relations.

“The resumption of full diplomatic relations will be a positive start to the commencement of bilateral discussions between the two nations,” the ministry said in a statement issued on Saturday evening.

 

The move came after Kenya on June 10 lifted its ban on flights to and from Somalia after a nearly one-month ban amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

Kenya said that the move was a goodwill gesture in the hope it will lead to the full normalization of relations with Somalia.

 

Somalia later welcomed the resumption of flights and reiterated its commitment to restore and accelerate diplomatic, trade, and people-to-people relations for the prosperity of Somalia and Kenya.

Mogadishu also called for the formation of a joint committee to work out modalities on the full restoration of diplomatic relations with Kenya, noting that the reopening of the airspace by Kenya is a starting point to commence negotiations aimed at the normalization of diplomatic relations.

 

Somalia in December 2020 severed its diplomatic ties with neighboring Kenya, accusing Nairobi of frequently violating Mogadishu’s sovereignty, which Kenya denied.

 

Mogadishu restored diplomatic relations with Nairobi on May 5 with mediation by Qatar. Kenya’s aviation authorities suspended all flights to and from Somalia on May 11 after Somalia refused to lift a ban imposed in 2020 on Kenya’s cargo flights for khat (miraa), a plant believed to cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria.

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