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Int’l partners laud Somalia, Kenya move to restore ties

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International partners have welcomed measures agreed between Somali and Kenyan leaders to restore bilateral ties after a months-long diplomatic spat over oil rights. The partners from the African Union, EU, UN, the U.S. and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation said the measures agreed including restoration of the issuance of travel visas on arrival arrangement for citizens of the two nations is a significant step in strengthening the good relations between the two countries. “We commend the personal efforts of the two presidents to improve relations between Kenya and Somalia,” the international partners said in a joint statement issued late Saturday.

“We note the value of mutually beneficial relations between Somalia and its neighbors which contribute to the prosperity of their people, and positively impact security and development in the wider Horn of Africa region,” they said. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart Mohamed Farmajo held a meeting on Nov. 14 on the sidelines of the just concluded International Conference on Population and Development in Nairobi.

The two leaders said the restoration of the visa on arrival arrangement is aimed at enhancing free and unhindered movement of people and commerce between Kenya and Somalia. During the meeting, the two leaders agreed to explore avenues of strengthening bilateral and diplomatic ties between Nairobi and Mogadishu for the benefit of the citizens of the two nations. The Somali leader expressed confidence that the maritime boundary dispute between his country and Kenya that is currently before the International Court of Justice in The Hague will be resolved in a mutually acceptable manner.

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