HARGEISA — U.S. Special Representative for Somalia Ambassador James C. Swan, arrived in the Somaliland capital on Monday for talks on democracy, terrorism, maritime piracy, regional stability and development.
Ambassador Swan held a closed-door meeting shortly after his arrival with Somaliland Minister of Interior Mohamed Nur Arale and no reporters were allowed to attend. The details of their discussion have not been released but some unconfirmed reports claimed the U.S. will help Somaliland combat some elements who are trying to destabilize the region. They added terrorism and maritime piracy were high on the agenda as well as the formation of Anti-Terrorism forces in the country which the U.S. will fund.
Mr. Swan is scheduled to hold further direct talks with senior government officials including President Ahmed Silanyo and members of his cabinet as well as opposition parties and lawmakers on Tuesday.
During his two-day visit Ambassador Swan will discuss the political and security situation in Somaliland and other regional issues. During his press address in Hargeisa, he emphasized the strong and sustained cooperation between the two countries specially in the last two years since the “Dual Track” policy was announced by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson.
The US official lauded Somaliland for its progress, stability and democracy that it has achieved over the years. He revealed that his government was fully committed in furthering the ties between the two nations.
Mr. Swan also revealed that his would attend the upcoming conference on Somalia in London after receiving an invitation from their British ally. Scheduled for next month, the meeting will address the issues of development, humanitarian aid, socio-economic and political development, terrorism and maritime piracy according to UK Deputy Ambassador to Ethiopia Chris Allan.
The American diplomat said the U.S. government was opptimistic about the UK conference on Somalia who has not had a functioning government for over two decades. He finally said the U.S. will increase its support for Somaliland.