Foreign relations of Somaliland
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Foreign relations of Somaliland are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Somaliland is a self-declared independent republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. The region's self-declared independence remains unrecognised by the international community.
Due to its status, Somaliland currently has no official contacts with any nation. International recognition as a sovereign, stable state, remains at the forefront of the government's current foreign policy. Other key priorities are encouraging international aid and foreign investment.
The position of the international community is to support Somalia's central government, territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Overview and history
Somaliland has political contacts with Somalia's neighbours Ethiopia and Djibouti, as well as with Belgium, France, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
In 2007, a delegation led by President Kahin was present at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala, Uganda. Although Somaliland has applied to join the Commonwealth under observer status, its application is still pending.
In 2002, Germany considered recognising Somaliland and establishing a military base in the country. It did not do so and the naval base was instead established in Djibouti. German naval ships already operated from Berbera. In September 2012, at the mini-summit on Somalia on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, the German government also re-affirmed its continued support for Somalia's government, territorial integrity and sovereignty.
In February 2010, there were rumours that Israel might recognise Somaliland. The rumours turned out to be wrong. Additionally, there was an arms smuggling affair involving Somaliland and an Israeli arms dealer.
In 2011, the foreign ministers of South Africa and Tanzania said that they were not ready to recognise Somaliland and that they preferred to see Somalia remain as a single country. In 2012, South Africa and Ethiopia also re-affirmed their continued support for Somalia's government, territorial integrity and sovereignty at the mini-summit on Somalia in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
In April 2014, the Sheffield City Council in the United Kingdom voted to recognize the right to self-determination of Somaliland, the first city council to do so. The gesture was purely ceremonial and carried no legal weight. The UK government and the international community officially recognize Somaliland as an autonomous region of Somalia.
Diplomatic Representative Offices
Somaliland maintains representative (liaison) offices in several countries, but these missions do not have formal diplomatic status under the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Such offices exist in the following cities:
- Addis Ababa 
- Djibouti 
- London 
- Paris 
- Pretoria 
- Stockholm 
- Turin 
- Washington D.C. 
The following foreign governments have diplomatic offices in Hargeisa:
- Ethiopia – consulate; headed by a diplomat with the rank of ambassador. Ethiopia also maintains another consulate in the neighboring autonomous Puntland region. It has an embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital.
As of February 2010, the Yemeni government is reportedly planning to open a diplomatic office in Hargeisa. In October 2010, Yemeni officials and the Puntland administration also agreed to establish a similar consulate and commercial office in the Puntland region.
Somaliland is in dispute over control of the Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (SSC) regions with the autonomous Puntland and Khatumo State regional administrations (formerly HBM-SSC or Hoggaanka Badbaadada iyo Mideynta SSC). The inhabitants of these areas predominantly belong to the same Harti clan that constitutes a majority of Puntland's residents.
Somaliland's leaders have also distanced themselves from the Federal Government of Somalia, which they see as a threat to their self-declared independence.
Somaliland issues its own passports. They are not recognized as national passports by any country, but the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, South Africa, South Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia accept them as unofficial travel documents.
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