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US welcomes first Somali ambassador in over 20 years

July 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

The United States welcomed on Monday the arrival of the first Somali ambassador to Washington in more than 20 years.

State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement that, “We are pleased to announce the arrival of Ambassador Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the first Somali Ambassador to the United States in over 20 years.”

The statement called the diplomatic step “progress in advancing US-Somali relations”.

Psaki stressed that her country is looking “forward to working with Ambassador Sharmarke and continuing to work with the Federal Government of Somalia to bring stability, security, and prosperity to all Somali people”.

Somali-American relations were disrupted after the fall of the ormer Somali president, General Mohamed Siad Barre, in the 1990s, when Somalia turned into a conflict zone between the various armed movements, empowering Islamic forces.