Djibouti’s President Ismael Omar Addresses Thursday Joint Somali Parliamentary session

Parliament on Thursday held a special joint sitting for an address by Djiboutian President Ismael Omar Guelleh. 

President Omar arrived in the country on Wednesday afternoon and was scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his host president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud at Villa Somalia, Mogadishu.

Speakers of the bicameral House, Sheikh Adan Madobe and his Senate counterpart Abdi Hashi chaired the special session held on Thursday afternoon in the National Assembly chambers.

President Guelleh is in the country for a two-day official visit.

Mr. Ismael Omar is hoping to renew the all-important alliance with Mogadsihu, which came under strain during the tenure of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who lost the Presidential elections in May to Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Officials said Parliament will use the meeting to bolster the two nations’ ties after strained relations last year.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who has visited Djibouti more than once after his reelection invited Ismael Omar Gueelleh for an official working visit.

In his address to the house President Ismael Omar said Somalia has made strides and progress after the protracted civil war.

The head of state commended ongoing efforts aimed at degrading the militant group al-Shabab which still controls parts of the country.

He pledged to support Somali Security Forces and allied local militia in their quest to get control of areas in the hands of the militants.

President Ismael Omar Guelleh becomes the first head of state to adress  a joint session of the bicameral Somali parliament in many years. 

During his visit, President Ismael will also meet with the business community from both countries. 

The country is one of the troop contributing countries to the Africa Union Transion Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) helping combat militants toppling the government. 

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Djibouti is an ally of Somalia, commending long serving leader Omar Guelleh for steering efforts to unite Somalia.

Following the civil war in Somalia, the country has been supporting Mogadishu’s protracted struggle to regain central authority. 

The talks in Arte, Djibouti laid the foundations for the current setting of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

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