BRUSSELS, Jan 29 (KUNA) -- The President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
is to begin Tuesday a three-day visit to Brussels for talks with EU leaders
following an invitation by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.
Senior EU officials speaking to journalists here today described his visit
as "historic" noting that it will be the first meeting between Sheikh Mohamud
and European leaders.
Only last week the United States officially recognized Somalia's government
in Mogadishu for the first time in 20 years, after a visit by Sheikh Mohamud
And now his visit to Europe is another sign that Somalia is returning to
normalcy and the government is gaining growing international legitimacy, noted
the officials speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Somalian President will discuss a new partnership with Europe during
his discussions in Brussels.
The EU is spending about one billion euro In Somalia on several
nation-building projects including anti-piracy mission, military training and
promotion of rule of law and security in the country.
The EU is also engaged with the US as well as Gulf countries to coordinate
efforts to normalise the political and security situation in Somalia, said the
The governments in the Gulf countries have expressed desire to engage with
the EU on Somalia, they said.
However, the UAE is the only country among the six GCC members to maintain
an embassy in Mogadischsu. (end)
KUNA 292124 Jan 13NNNN