Somalia’s new ambassador to US presents credentials to Trump
WASHINGTON, United States - President Donald Trump received on Tuesday the Somali ambassador to the United States, Ali Sharif Ahmed, who handed over his credentials at the White House, Garowe Online reports.
President Trump welcomed the new diplomat, wishing him success in his diplomatic mission in Washington DC. Ahmed has previously served as Somali envoy to France and Ethiopia respectively.
He becomes the fourth Somali Ambassador to the US since 2014, replacing Ahmed Isse Awad who is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Awad had held the diplomatic post from 17th September 2015 to January 2018.
Ahmed’s appointment comes at a time when the US is expanding its military presence in Somalia with Trump administration dramatically stepped up counterinsurgency operations targeting Al-Shabab and ISIS militants.
The United States has closed its embassy in Somalia's capital Mogadishu in January 1991 amid fighting between rebels and the government and had to airlift out its ambassador and staff.
In December 2018, the US has established its first diplomatic presence in Somalia for nearly 30 years. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto is heading the embassy in Mogadishu. Previously it had been based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Last August 2019, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has renounced his U.S. citizenship despite the country's constitution allowing for dual citizenship.
Farmaajo, who is facing an election next year will for the first time since coming to office in February 2017 attend the 74th session of UN General Assembly [UNGA] following giving up his U.S. passport.
The UNGA is a global platform for leaders to present their credentials and that of their countries to the world, a chance which skipped President Farmaajo for the better part of his presidency 2017-2018.