ABU DHABI, 21 Feb. 2008–Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin and his delegation left here early Thursday after a successful 5-day unofficial visit to the United Arab Emirates at the invitation of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and President of the UAE Red Crescent Society (RCS). They were expected to fly with Ethiopian Airline to Addis Ababa from Dubai Airport. The delegation has entered the UAE with Somaliland passports.
In conversation with various groups of Somaliland community in the UAE, Kahin expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the visit and with the warm hospitality accorded them.
Somaliland community members have been arriving in large groups over the last few days at the Intercontinental Hotel where the President and his delegation have staying despite protocol restrictions.
“The UAE authorities have accepted to assist us in implementing all the projects we have presented to them,” said Abdillahi Mohammed Duale in a meeting with members of the community, describing the visit as a new vista for Somaliland’s endeavor to be heard in the Arab world.
Sources close the delegation said that the projects presented by delegation to the UAE RCS included basic needs of Somaliland such as roads, water and others.
The delegation is expected to stay in Addis Ababa until Saturday before it proceeds to Hargeisa.
The sources added that President Rayale received calls from Rulers of the northern emirates of the UAE while he stayed in Abu Dhabi.
Unconfirmed reports also indicate that Kahim may pay a visit to the Gulf state of Qatar in May 2008, while a delegation of the U.S. Pentagon was planning to visit Hargeisa by the end of February.
In another development Somaliland’s Representative in Nairobi held a long meeting with U.S. State Secretary Condoloezza Rice.
According to a report published in Hadhwadaagnews, Rice announced that a U.S. Congress delegation would arrive in Somaliland in April, while she pledged U.S. support for Somaliland’s elections and to train Somaliland’s navy.
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