Hargeisa (The Horn)- In an exclusive interview with Geeska Afrika, the Somaliland foreign minister Dr Saad Ali Shire speaks of his second stint in government, the transfer of power from President Silanyo to Muse a Behi and other issues.
Below verbatim excerpts of the interview
Geeska Afrika- You are one of the four ministers appointment by president Behi from the outgoing Cabinet of president Silanyo whom you served for seven years first as planning and later as foreign minister, hat is your take on this reappointKent?
Dr Saad Ali Shire- first I thank ex-president Silanyo for giving me the opportunity to serve my people in the capacity of Minister in two very important ministries, planning and foreign affairs.
Similarly I thank the president Muse Behi for giving the opportunity to serve as the Somaliland minister of foreign affairs. With the grace of Allah I hope to perform and accomplish my duties with diligence while always being ready to offer any relevant assistance.
Q- As minister of foreign affairs what is your perception as per what was achieved and what changed policy wise?
Did the country take any strides in foreign relations or was there a setback?
A- In the last two years we concentrated on building international relations and having achieved this, as can be exemplified by the large number of foreign missions established, plans are now to change tack to actual realization of our major quest, International recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign nation
So in a nutshell I would say that we only achieved success in our foreign policy devoid of any setbacks
Q- What is the status of the citizens petition submitted to the IC for international recognition?
A- In tandem with results of the 2001 referendum in which 97% of Somalilanders opted for withdrawal from union with Somaliland, we submitted a petition to the IC signed by over one million citizens. We are still in pursuit of outcome while also pursuing other avenues of this quest.
Q- Having been a member of committee transferring power from Silanyo to Muse Behi, what did you peeve as different from such last functions?
A- Somaliland is known for its peaceful transfer of authority from one administration to another, and this one occurred in this background but what was different from past such was the large number of foreign dignitaries witnessing among them ministers and diplomats from various friendly countries. At the same time we had the presence of two past and one current president of Somaliland at the 2017 function.
Q- The UN and EU Acknowledged the successful election termed as apt democratically while applauding citizens peaceful participation but our very own AU, IGAD and Arab League are still to utter a word either in praise or condemnations , why so?
A- First be informed that IGAD was represented by a delegation firing the swearing in ceremony while Somaliland is not a member of the Arab league though we maintain good relations.
Q- Following recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel by US president Trump many Islamic countries have come out in Opposition what of Somaliland and what is our policy on this issue ?
A- Somaliland in tandem with other Islamic countries perceives Jerusalem as an occupied territory and in this we are in adherence to the position of the United Nations.