Somalia calls for formation of a joint committee to restore ties with Kenya

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Somalia has called for the formation of a joint committee to work out modalities on the full restoration of diplomatic relations with Kenya.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somalia in a statement issued in Mogadishu reaffirmed its commitment to restore and accelerate diplomatic, trade and people-to-people relations for the prosperity of Somalia and Kenya.

The Ministry noted that the negotiation aimed at normalising diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The statement came hours after Kenya lifted it’s nearly month-long ban on flights to and from Somalia, which was put in place amid the diplomatic spat between the two neighbouring countries.

According to Kenya, the end to the ban was a goodwill gesture in the hope it will lead to the full normalisation of relations with Somalia.

On its part, Mogadishu said that the reopening of the airspace was an important step forward in the process of enhancing trade, communication and movement of citizens between the two countries.

“The two brotherly nations have always collaborated in security, trade and mutual cultural relations which are based on common interests, good neighbourliness, respect for sovereignty and political independence,’’ the ministry said.

Somalia in December 2020 severed its diplomatic ties with Kenya, accusing Nairobi of frequently violating Mogadishu’s sovereignty.

Mogadishu restored diplomatic relations with Nairobi on May 5 with mediation by Qatar.

Kenya’s aviation authorities suspended all flights to and from Somalia on May 11 after Somalia refused to lift a ban imposed in 2020 on Kenya’s cargo flights for khat (miraa).