The UK delegation meets Farmajo and election-related pressure begins

Photo/Somali Times

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo met with the UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge at the Presidential Palace today, where they discussed a number of issues.

A statement from Villa Somalia said Farmajo shared the successful plans of the Somali people and government with the rebuilding of the army, the fight against terrorism and corruption, economic development and reconciliation efforts.

Somali Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Balal Mohamed Osman, who attended the meeting, reported on the fruitful talks between the two sides, and agreed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of security, democracy and the economy.

”Somalia is committed to advancing its foreign policy of co-operation. The two governments agreed to step up the fight against terrorism, strengthen democracy, strengthen long-standing ties between Somalia and the UK, increase UK support and investment.”

For his part, UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge commended the government for its achievements in the process of military reform, economic growth and electoral planning.

Reliable sources from Villa Somalia told Somali Times that the meeting also discussed a dispute over the election in Somalia.

Officials at the presidency, who asked not to be named, said the UK delegation had pressured the president not to hold uncontested elections, which was also stated at the UK co-operation by Somalia by UK Ambassador to Somalia Ben Fender.

This meeting is the beginning of another meeting that the international community is expected to hold with the political parties in the country, to reach a comprehensive solution. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Somalia, Mohamed Hussein Roble, welcomed the UK delegation to his office and noted the Government’s efforts to ensure that the elections are held on time, in accordance with the political agreement reached by the Heads of the Federal Government and State Governments.