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RENEWED RUSSIAN DIPLOMACY IN AFRICA

New Russian Envoy to Somalia Amid Preparations for Afro-Russian Summit at Black Sea City, Sochi.

During the past six years, several Western powers have renewed their diplomatic presence in Somalia, after the establishment of a fairly stable central government in the troubled Eastern African nation. Among them is the ambassador of the United States of America (U.S.) who presented his credentials in November 2018.

It is notable that diplomatic presence in the Horn of Africa nation had been scanty for over two decades after most nations and international organizations withdrew their diplomatic representation,  following decades of civil war that erupted after the overthrow of the then president Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991, followed by the insurgency of the radical Islamic al-Shabaab militia.

Russia has made the latest diplomatic return to Somalia after its ambassador presented his credentials to President Abdullahi Farmajo on Wednesday 10th of July 2019.  The new ambassador, Mr. Mikhail Golovanov now becomes the first Russian envoy to Somalia in more than 25 years.

In an official statement, the Office of the President of Somalia said Ambassador Golovanov conveyed greetings from Russian President Vladimir Putin and pledged to work towards strengthening the diplomatic ties with Somalia. According to the statement, the envoy praised Somalia’s ongoing progress as well as the reforms in the security and financial sectors.

At their meeting at Villa Somalia, President Farmajo and the new Russian envoy discussed bilateral opportunities for closer bilateral cooperation in the fields of humanitarian aid, economy and education. In the message delivered by the new envoy in Mogadishu, Moscow now plans to train civil servants and security personnel.

In recent times, Russia has been striving to expand and strengthen its diplomatic involvement in Africa and has planned a Russia-Africa summit which is scheduled take place in October 24, 2019. Apart from reviewing issues regarding the current global situation, the main focus of the summit will be on relations between Russia and African nations in political, trade and economic matters.

According to the Villa Somalia, Farmajo has already accepted the invitation from his Russian counterpart Putin to attend the summit which be held at the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

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