Somalia president Hassan Sheikh meets UAE president in Abu Dhabi
ABU DHABI - Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the president of the federal republic of Somalia, held a meeting with his United Arab Emirates [UAE] counterpart His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in a meeting which comes at the time the country has heightened the fight against violent extremism.
Somalia has been conducting operations against the Al-Shabaab extortionists who control large swathes of rural central and southern parts of the country but have lost significant portions in the recent past. The Somali military has been partnering with the US Africa Command and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia in the war.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE, the two leaders discussed ongoing relations between the two nations and areas for further cooperation, ", especially with regard to enhancing development and stability in Somalia".
The ministry reported that the meeting between the two leaders was held at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference [IDEX 2023], which is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre [ADNEC]. The UAE leader expressed gratitude to the visiting Somali president, noting that Abu Dhabi is keen to promote peace and stability in Mogadishu.
"Following the meeting, the UAE President toured a number of pavilions of national and international companies participating at IDEX and was briefed on some of the latest innovations and technology in the defence industry," the ministry noted.
During the tour, President Sheikh Mohamed was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs in the Presidential Court; and Staff Lt. General Engineer Issa Saif Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, the ministry noted.
Somalia has lately been working closely with UAE after relations were restored following the victory of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in May 2022. The relationship was frosty during the reign of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, whose ties with Qatar ruined the UAE's fortunes in the Horn of Africa nation.
The president has been on the shuttle diplomacy, calling for support from international partners, especially on the war against Al-Shabaab, a group which has been pushing for destabilization of the country. Somalia has partly managed to weed out the militants from several fronts.