Mr. Grant Shapps, the UK Minister of State FCO & International Development and a Welwyn Hatfield MP, today, signed an MOU with the government of Somaliland covering a grant to cover the extension of Hargeisa water, energy and electric power.
The Minister signed the Memorandum at the Preidential Palace of the Republic of Somaliland with H.E. Mohammed Behi Yonis, Somaliland Foreign Minister, in the presence of the country’s President, His Excellency Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Siilaanyo”.
The two ministers, afterwards, spoke to the press about the meeting and the objectives of the UK delegation at this juncture of time.
“The meeting we had with Minister Shapps’ delegation centered on the historical relations the countries have with one another, the critical support the UK government gives Somaliland and matters relating to the upcoming elections,” Minister Behi said.
The Minister stated that the two sides also talked of the on-going dialogue between Somaliland and Somalia with Somaliland requesting the UK government, once more, to intervene and become more active in supporting the continuation of the talks and their timeline.
On his turn, Minister Shapps expressed pleasure and gratitude for the ‘warm hospitality’ given him and his delegation and for a ‘fruitfu;’ meeting.
Minister Shapps said he was glad to be in Somaliland as a Minister – a country that he studied in school when ‘he was a young lad’ and thatit was a huge privilege to meet the President.
“There was a whole variety of subjects we talked about that are important to the cooperation between our two countries .. from trade, security, energy and, of course, those memorandums of understanding signed here today – a demonstration of a deepening cooperation between the two countries and shared history together,” he said.
The grant will be part of the UK’s contribution to the Somaliland Development Fund which has proven successful of late in the implementation of innumerable projects in Somaliland.
Minister Shapps was at the head of a high-ranking delegation that included the new UK Ambassador to Somalila/Somaliland, Ms Harriet Mathews and the Head of DFID programs.
Present at the occasion on the Somaliland side, too, were the Minister for the Presidency H.E. Hersi Ali Haj Hassan and H.E. Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, H.E. Ali Mohamed Waranaddeh, Minister for Interior, and the Director of Hargeisa Water Authority, Ibrahim Siyad, among others.
The high-level UK delegation’s visit to ROS and the MOU signed is widely seen as a testimony to the growing trust between the Republic of Somaliland and its development partners.