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  Politics
President of Somalia arrives in Brussels for historic visit
29/01/2013 | LOC21:24
18:24 GMT
| Arab News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
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 to Washington. 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 sources.
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) nk.mt KUNA 292124 Jan 13NNNN
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