UK opens new embassy in Mogadishu
25 April 2013, 19:03
London - British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Thursday
opened a new embassy in Mogadishu, 22 years after London pulled its diplomats
from conflict-torn Somalia.
The move makes Britain the first EU nation to return to
Somalia and comes ahead of a major conference on the future of the Horn of
Africa nation in London on May 7.
Hague was accompanied by Somali President Hassan Sheikh
Mohamud, the Foreign office said in a statement.
"I am in Mogadishu at the new British Embassy I've just
reopened 22 years after UK evacuated diplomats," Hague said in a tweet.
Hague said in a statement from the Foreign Office that he
was "delighted" to be "raising the Union Jack to mark the formal
opening of a new British embassy".
Hague added that the reopening showed Britain's
"commitment to work with the federal government of Somalia as they rebuild
their country after two decades of conflict".
The Foreign Office said it was the first time Britain has
had an embassy in Somalia since 1991, when the embassy was closed and the
ambassador and his staff evacuated.
"This makes the UK the first EU country to re-open an
embassy in Somalia," it said.
The new embassy is on a site leased to the British
government by Somalia.