Foreign relations of Somalia
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Transitional Federal Government representatives for foreign affairs 
- Aden Hashi Abdulle (Howle) is the current Permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs.
- Ismail Qasim Naji - Ambassador to Qatar, appointed February 10, 2007
- Mohammed Ali America - Ambassador to Kenya, appointed February 10, 2007
- Hassan Mohammed Siad Barre - Ambassador to Yemen, appointed February 10, 2007
- Muse Hirsi Fahiye - Ambassador to Djibouti, appointed February 10, 2007
A goal of Somali nationalism (Pan-Somalism) is to unite the predominantly Somali-inhabited territories in the Horn of Africa into a pan-Somali Greater Somalia (Soomaaliweyn). Historically, this issue has been a major cause of conflict between Somalia and some of its neighbors. Like the Siad Barre regime and every Somali administration before it, the Islamic Courts Union and its successor Islamist groups are also proponents of Greater Somalia.
Current relations 
The current Federal Government of Somalia that succeeded the Transitional Federal Government is approved by the Arab League (AL), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the African Union (AU) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The IGAD and AU member states are presently involved in a UN-sanctioned peacekeeping mission, AMISOM, to help stabilize Somalia.
After independence in 1960, Somalia followed a foreign policy of nonalignment. It received major economic assistance from the United States, Italy, and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as from the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.
In 1963, Somalia severed diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom for a period following a dispute over the Northern Frontier District (NFD), an area traditionally inhabited almost exclusively by Somalis. In accordance with an informal plebiscite demonstrating the overwhelming desire of the region's population to join the newly-formed Somali Republic, Led by the Northern Province People's Progressive Party (NPPPP), Somalis in the NFD vigorously sought union with the Somali Republic to the north, and Somalia similarly urged self-determination for the Cushitic peoples of the area. In response, the Kenyan government enacted a number of repressive measures designed to frustrate their efforts, including the creation of concentration camps.
A similar dispute involves the Ogaden, another territory in the Horn of Africa that has traditionally and predominantly been inhabited by ethnic Somalis. In 1948, under pressure from their World War II allies and to the dismay of the Somalis, the British "returned" the Hawd (an important Somali grazing area that was presumably 'protected' by British treaties with the Somalis in 1884 and 1886) and the Ogaden to Ethiopia, based on a treaty they signed in 1897 in which the British ceded Somali territory to the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik in exchange for his help against the Somali clans, by plundering the clans. Britain included the proviso that the Somali nomads would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over them. This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in 1956 to buy back the Somali lands it had turned over.
During the socialist administration of Siad Barre, Somalia was at first closely aligned with the Soviet Union, a relationship which enabled it to amass among the largest armored and mechanized forces on the continent. With this robust security force, the military of Somalia managed to invade and subdue the much sought after Ogaden in a matter of days. However, this changed when the Soviet Union, Somalia's former ally and one of the world's two superpowers, along with Cuba opted to throw their support behind the newly-Communist Derg of Ethiopia in the Ogaden War of 1977–78. With this increased presence of foreign troops, the Somali army was successfully driven out of the region. Barre subsequently tore up his friendship treaty with the Soviets, and expelled their representatives to Somalia. His administration subsequently began a working relationship with the United States, the Soviet Union's cold war rival.
In the aftermath of the Ogaden war, although Barre stated at the March 1983 Nonaligned Movement summit in New Delhi that Somalia had no designs on the Ogaden and was willing to negotiate with Ethiopia, the government of Somalia continued to call for self-determination for the ethnic Somali majority living in the Ogaden.
Since the fall of the Barre regime in 1991 and the breakout of the Somali civil war, the foreign policy of the various entities in Somalia centered on gaining international recognition, winning international support for national reconciliation, and obtaining international economic assistance. Many of those goals were upset by the failure and ultimate withdrawal of the UN missions to Somalia 1992–1995. No power in Somalia was seen as holding the sovereign authority over the state, and thus, foreign relations on a formal basis were untenable. However, this changed with the establishment in 2004 of the Transitional Federal Government, an entity which currently enjoys international recognition and support.
The autonomous Somaliland macro-region, which has operated independently since 1991, has also sought to develop its own foreign relations. It specifically seeks recognition in the UN, AU, and other international organizations, as well as the ability to develop formal bilateral diplomatic and economic relations.
Arab states 
Somalia generally enjoys good relations with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and has a long history of cultural, religious, and trade ties with the Arabian Peninsula. Long considered a part of the Arab World, the nation joined the League of Arab States (Arab League) in 1974 under the aegis of Mohamed Siad Barre. Initially, Somalia tended to support those Arab countries such as Algeria, Iraq, and Libya that opposed United States policies in the Middle East. After its defeat in the Ogaden War, the Barre regime aligned its policies more closely with those of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, both of these countries began to provide military aid to Somalia. Other Arab states, in particular Libya, angered Siad Barre by supporting Ethiopia. In 1981, Somalia broke diplomatic relations with Libya, claiming that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was supporting the SSDF and the nascent SNM, but relations were restored a few years later in 1985 and have since been good.
Throughout the 1980s, Somalia received economic aid from conservative, wealthy oil-exporting states of Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. This dependence was a crucial factor in the Barre administration's decision to side with the United States-led coalition of Arab states that opposed Iraq following that country's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Support for the coalition brought economic dividends: Qatar canceled further repayment of all principal and interest on outstanding loans, and Saudi Arabia offered Somalia a US$70 million grant and promised to sell it oil at below prevailing international market prices.
Bilateral relations 
People's Republic of China 
Despite the departure of most Chinese nationals from Somalia in 1991, the two countries maintained a small trading relationship; total trade volume in 2002 was US$3.39 million, with Somalia exporting US$1.56 million of goods to China and importing $1.83 million. In July 2007, the China state-owned oil company CNOOC signed an agreement with the Somali government to search for oil in the Mudug region of the semi-autonomous state of Puntland; a competing oil company estimated the total reserves in Puntland could amount to five to ten billion barrels of oil. However, an unnamed diplomat from a Western country stated that the Somali government had signed similar deals with other countries, which could bring CNOOC into conflict with foreign competitors over exploration and drilling rights.
Somalia–Turkey relations date back to the Middle Ages and the ties between the Adal Sultanate and the Ottoman Empire. Prior to the breakout of the civil war in Somalia in 1991, Turkey maintained an embassy in Mogadishu. It later discontinued operations due to security reasons. In 2011, the Turkish government announced that it would reopen its embassy in Somalia. The Somalian federal government also maintains an embassy in Ankara, Turkey's capital.
During the drought of 2011, Turkey contributed over $201 million to the humanitarian relief efforts in the impacted parts of Somalia. Following a greatly improved security situation in Mogadishu in mid-2011, the Turkish government also re-opened its foreign embassy with the intention of more effectively assisting in the post-conflict development process. It was among the first foreign administrations to resume formal diplomatic relations with Somalia after the civil war.
Additionally, Turkish Airlines became the first long-distance international commercial airline in two decades to land at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport. As of March 2012, the flag carrier offers two flights a week from the Somali capital to Istanbul.
In partnership with the Somali government, Turkish officials have also launched various development and infrastructure projects in Somalia. They have assisted in the building of several hospitals, and helped renovate and rehabilitate the Aden Adde International Airport and the National Assembly building, among other initiatives.
United States 
After the collapse of the Siad Barre government and the start of the Somali Civil War in the early 1990s, the US embassy in Mogadishu closed down. However, the American government never formally severed diplomatic ties with Somalia. The U.S. acknowledged and supported the internationally-recognized, UN-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as the country's national governing body. It also engages Somalia's smaller regional administrations, such as Puntland and Somaliland, to ensure broad-based inclusion in the peace process.
As of 2011, the United States maintains a non-resident diplomatic mission for Somalia in Nairobi. In addition, the Somalia embassy in the U.S. until recently had as its ambassador-designate Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the former Prime Minister of Somalia.
The Federal Government of Somalia was established on August 20, 2012, concurrent with the end of the TFG's interim mandate. It represents the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the civil war. On September 10, 2012, the new Federal Parliament also elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the incumbent President of Somalia. The United States government subsequently released a press statement felicitating Mohamud on his victory, and promised to continue partnering with the Somali authorities.
In January 2013, the U.S. announced that it was set to exchange diplomatic notes with the new central government of Somalia, re-establishing official ties with the country for the first time in 20 years. According to the Department of State, the decision was made in recognition of the significant progress that the Somali authorities had achieved on both the political and war fronts. The move is expected to grant the Somali government access to new sources of development funds from American agencies as well as international bodies like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, thereby facilitating the ongoing reconstruction process.
See also 
Notes and references 
- "Somalia’s army commander sacked as new ambassadors are appointed". Shabelle Media Network. 2007-02-10. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-02-10.
- UN group backs Somalia government, BBC, 2006-06-15
- David D. Laitin, Politics, Language, and Thought: The Somali Experience, (University Of Chicago Press: 1977), p.75
- Bruce Baker, Escape from Domination in Africa: Political Disengagement & Its Consequences, (Africa World Press: 2003), p.83
- Rhoda E. Howard, Human Rights in Commonwealth Africa, (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: 1986), p.95
- Federal Research Division, Somalia: A Country Study, (Kessinger Publishing, LLC: 2004), p.38
- David D. Laitin (1 May 1977). Politics, Language, and Thought: The Somali Experience. University of Chicago Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-226-46791-7. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- Aristide R. Zolberg et al., Escape from Violence: Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World, (Oxford University Press: 1992), p.106
- Somaliland: Recognition & Development - Convention in Washington
- Mohamed Haji Mukhtar, Arabic Sources on Somalia, History in Africa, Vol. 14 (1987), (African Studies Association), p.141-172
- Jopson, Barney (2007-07-13). "Somalia oil deal for China". Financial Times. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
- Turkish embassy - Addis Ababa
- Turkish PM to set up Somali embassy
- Embassy of Somalia in Turkey
- "Turkey raises $201 million for Somalia". Hurriyet. August 26, 2011.
- No: 248, 1 November 2011, Press Release Regarding the Re-opening of the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu
- Why Turkish aid model is proving to be a success in Somalia and elsewhere, Rasna Warah, Saturday Nation, 1 April 2012.
- The US Dual Track Policy Towards Somalia
- "Somali president names Sharmarke as new PM". Agence France-Presse. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
- "Sharmarke Chosen as PM in Somalia's National Unity Government". Voice of America. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
- "Somalia: UN Envoy Says Inauguration of New Parliament in Somalia 'Historic Moment'". Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Somali lawmakers elect Mohamud as next president". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- United States Press Secretary. "U.S. congratulates Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on becoming Somalia’s new president". Horseed Media. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "US set to formally recognise Somali government after 20-year hiatus". Reuters. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "U.S. Set to Recognize Somali Government". VOA. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.