The Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed AlAttiyah visited Somalia today to hold bilateral talks with senior members of the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
The Qatari Foreign Minister and his delegation were welcomed at the new terminal of Aden Abdulle airport just before 11am by a Somali Government delegation led by Dr. Abdusalam Hadliyeh Omer, the Somali Minister for Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion.
After a brief discussion between the two Foreign Ministers at the airport V.I.P suite, both delegations proceeded to the State House where Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed AlAttiyah met with the President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who welcomed him and his delegation to Somalia.
After meeting with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the Foreign Minister of Qatar and his delegation held bilateral talks with the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia represented by the Foreign Minister in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid at the State House. This meeting was also attended by the Somali Ministers for Finance, Education, Security and Civil Aviation as well as the head of the National Security Agency and the Governor of the city of Mogadishu.
The bilateral talks were opened with a welcome from the Somali Foreign Minister Dr. Abdusalam Hadliyeh Omer who thanked the Government and People of Qatar for all their support of his nations in its hours of need. Dr. Omer stated that the Government and people of Somalia remember fondly that this is the Qatari Foreign Minister’s third visit to Mogadishu since the Government was formed in 2012.
“Qatar is a crucial partner in Somalia’s progress towards security, stability and progress in all its forms, “ said the Somali Minister for Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion. “ The government of the Federal Republic of Somalia and its people truly consider the government and people of Qatar brothers.”
The Somali Foreign Minister described some of the major challenges facing Somalia today but made very clear that enormous progress was been made towards security and stability on a daily basis and that this will accelerate with future investment in key economic sectors.
The Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid updated the Qatari Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed AlAttiyah on Somalia’s progress and echoed some of the challenges mentioned by his Foreign Minister earlier. Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid went on to discuss key areas of bilateral agreement and partnership between the Government of Somalia and Qatar which included security, health, energy, education and Somali workers employment in Qatar.
The Somali Finance Minister Mohamed Aden Ibrahim described the financial difficulty his Ministry and the wider Somali nation faces due to an over reliance on foreign aid. He argued that Somalia required budgetary support from its partners, including Qatar, to be able to fulfil the crucial public spending obligations which are a prerequisite for development.
In response, the Qatari Foreign Minister thanked the Government and People of Somalia for the warm welcome he received in Somalia. He stressed that Somalia is a nation full of natural resources and that investment will be crucial to its progress and prosperity. Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed AlAttiyah observed that security had improved enormously since his last visit and he commended the Government of Somalia and its Security Forces for their hard work. He went on to state that the Government of Qatar has established different teams to investigate Somalia’s needs in conjunction with the relevant authorities in Somalia.
“Somalia can be the backbone of the Arab world as it has great resources,” said Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed AlAttiyah. “There are many great opportunities for investment and this is something that is understood and taken seriously by the Government of Qatar.”
Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed AlAttiyah stated that his Government will work closely with the Government of Somalia to organise a meeting between Qatari investors, Somali businesses and the relevant Somali authorities to aid Somalia’s investment hopes. The Qatari Foreign Minister concluded by reiterating how impressed he was with Somalia’s progress and he strongly urged the Government to continue its efforts in this area to enable development to take place. He further advocated for an even closer cooperation between his Government and that of the Federal Republic of Somalia to further strengthen their bilateral ties.
“I came by many cars today but next time I come I will drive my own car,” concluded Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed AlAttiyah.
After the meeting at Villa Somalia and a brief press conference, the Qatari delegation took a tour of Mogadishu which included a short stop at the ruined former national parliament building where the Qatari Embassy is potentially to be built before flying out to Doha.
Summarising the day’s events at a press conference in Aden Abdulle airport, the Somali Minister for Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion, Dr. Abdusalam Hadliyeh Omer said that Somalia’s progress was becoming more evident to the world. He accredited this success to the hard work of the people of Somalia.