Farmajo visit: fifth summit in a week marks historic relations

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi (left) Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo (right)

CAIRO – August 20, 2017: New Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s first official visit to Cairo on Sunday marks the long and historic relationship between the Egyptian and Somali nations.

Egypt has supported Somali decisions since 1960, according to the State Information Service (SIS) website. A long list of bilateral cooperation relations was spelled out under the report on Egyptian-Somali relations, which included several official visits, scientific and cultural relations, economic relations and humanitarian aid.

Egypt was one of the first states to recognize Somalia’s independence in 1960 after World War II; in addition, Egypt continued to support Somalia in all areas during the post-independence period. Several educational missions were sent to Mogadishu.

In March 2013, former Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr marked the first visit by an Egyptian official to Somalia in twenty years. The visit included several meetings and talks with former Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as well as foreign and defense ministers.

The former Somali president visited Cairo four times in 2014 and 2015, as many cases of mutual interest were discussed between Sheikh Mohamud and his Egyptian counterpart Abdelfatah al-Sisi.

Former Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed also visited Egypt twice in 2009 and 2010.

Several cooperation agreements and protocols have been signed since the announcement of Somalia’s independence in 1960 with Egypt; However, the SIS listed the nine main agreements, including (two trade agreements in December 1961 and July 1978, a cultural cooperation agreement in January 1961, an air agreement in 1974, an economic agreement in 1982 and a cooperation protocol between radio and federal televisions of both countries.)

Egypt has sent several humanitarian aid to its African neighbor according to the SIS, the latest in 2015 and 2017 to mitigate the impact of the wave of drought that has hit Somalia.

Commenting on Sisi’s meeting with Farmajo on Sunday, MP Ayman Aboul Ela said in an official statement that “it is extremely important for the Egyptian government to establish balanced relations with our African neighbors and to communicate with them and improve our relationships in all different fields. “

On Sunday morning, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo arrived in Cairo for his first official visit since taking office in February 2017.

According to a presidential statement, the visit aims to strengthen Egyptian-Somali relations, as several issues are expected to be discussed during talks between Farmajo and President Abdelfatah al-Sisi. An official reception ceremony took place at the Presidential Palace of Ittihadia.

On August 14, Sisi embarked on a four-day African tour where he visited Tanzania, Rwanda, Gabon and Chad. This tour is not seen as a sudden move, however, as Sisi has visited several African countries since taking office in June 2014; attend summits and hold bilateral talks with the majority of African leaders.

In June 2014, Sisi attended the African Union Summit in Equatorial Guinea as his first presidential visit to the continent, which was then seen as a restoration of Afro-Egyptian relations after years of neglect during Mubarak’s era.

Several short visits in 2015 followed participation in the African Union Summit, notably to Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, at the invitation of Yuri Museveni in December 2016.

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