Egypt–Somalia relations

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Egyptian–Somali relations
Map indicating locations of Egypt and Somalia



Egypt–Somalia relations are bilateral relations between Egypt and Somalia. Both nations are Arab League members and engage in close development cooperation. Somalia also has an embassy in Cairo, and Egypt is slated to reopen its embassy in Mogadishu.


Relations between the territories of present-day Egypt and Somalia stretch back to antiquity.[1] An Egyptian expedition sent to the Land of Punt by the 18th dynasty Queen Hatshepsut is recorded on the temples at Deir el-Bahari, during the reign of the Puntite King Parahu and Queen Ati.[2] According to the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, the Egyptian Pharaoh Sesostris also led his forces passed the Port of Isis en route to the northeastern market town of Mosylon, a cinnamon hub that is believed to have been in or close to present-day Bosaso.[3][4]

The 1st century CE Greco-Roman travelogue the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, among other documents, reports later commercial exchanges between traders inhabiting city-states on the northern Somalian littoral with Ptolemaic Egypt.[5] During the Middle Ages and early modern period, the various Somali Sultanates also maintained close relations with their counterparts in Egypt. The Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta reported that the Sultanate of Mogadishu exported its own trademark cloth to trading partners in the Nile Valley.[6] Archaeological excavations at former Adal Sultanate sites in northwestern Somalia likewise yielded coins that had been minted by Sultans Barquq (1382–99) and Qaitbay (1468-89) of the Egyptian Burji Mamluk Sultanate.[7]

During the ensuing colonial period, Egypt and Somalia maintained close ties through the UN delegate to Somalia Kamal El Din Salah, who supported the territorial integrity of the Somali territories. Upon independence of the Somali Republic in 1960, Egypt was among the first nations to recognize the nascent country. It subsequently invested heavily in the education sector, with Cairo's Al-Azhar University leading scholastic and Muslim missions in Mogadishu, among other areas.[1] In 1969, Egypt and Somalia were among the founding members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Both nations are also members of the League of Arab States.

After the start of the civil war in Somalia in 1991, Egypt maintained diplomatic relations with the Transitional National Government and its successor the Transitional Federal Government, and supported their state-building initiatives. As part of the International Contact Group, the Egyptian authorities participated in various global summits in support of the Somalian peace process, including the Khartoum Conference in 2006, the Djibouti Conference in 2008, and the Cairo Conference in 2010.[1]

The subsequent establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in August 2012 was welcomed by the Egyptian authorities, who re-affirmed Egypt's continued support for Somalia's government, its territorial integrity and sovereignty.[8]

Development cooperation[edit]

The governments of Egypt and Somalia engage in close development cooperation. Much of this work is channeled through the Arab League and the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa. In conjunction with the Somali Institute for Diplomatic Studies, the Egyptian authorities also organized diplomatic training for Somali government officials in 2010.[1]

In June 2013, Egyptian Ministry of Defence officials arrived in Mogadishu to help reconstruct the national Ministry of Defence's offices. According to the Somali Navy commander Admiral Farah Qare, the Egyptian delegation comprised engineers, who were tasked with building new headquarters for the Somalian ministry.[9]

In October 2014, Foreign Minister of Somalia Abdirahman Duale Beyle met with Egypt's Charge D'affaires in Somalia Mohamed Mandour at his office in Mogadishu. The two officials discussed various issues of mutual interest, including supporting the Federal Government of Somalia's post-conflict reconstruction initiatives and fully re-establishing bilateral ties between both countries. According to Beyle, Egypt is a longstanding ally and current partner of the Somali government.[10]

In November 2014, Beyle and President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met in Mogadishu with Egypt's new Ambassador to Somalia, Mowlid Ismail. The officials subsequently held a closed door meeting in which they discussed various ways to strengthen the historic bilateral ties between the two nations. According to Beyle, Ismail also indicated that his administration would double its development assistance to Somalia in the education sector.[11]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

The Federal Government of Somalia maintains an embassy in Cairo.[12] The diplomatic mission was led by Ambassador Abdallah Hassan Mahmoud since 21 November 2015.[13]

The Egyptian government has announced that it is slated to reopen its embassy in Mogadishu.[14] As of November 2014, Mowlid Ismail serves as Egypt's Ambassador to Somalia.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Somalia - Brief History". Arab Republic of Egypt, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  2. ^ Njoku, Raphael Chijioke (2013). The History of Somalia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 29–31. ISBN 0313378576.
  3. ^ Hussein, Said M-Shidad. "The Ancient Kingdom of Punt and its Factor in Egyptian History Part IV" (PDF). WardheerNews. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  4. ^ Sharpe, Samuel (1836). The Early History of Egypt, from the Old Testament, Herodotus, Manetho, and the Hieroglyphical Inscriptions. E. Moxon. pp. 97–98. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  5. ^ Schoff (tr. & ed.), W.H. (1912). The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century. London, Bombay & Calcutta.
  6. ^ P. L. Shinnie, The African Iron Age, (Clarendon Press: 1971), p.135
  7. ^ Zbigniew A. Konczacki, Janina M. Konczacki (ed.) (1977). An Economic History of Tropical Africa: The Pre-colonial Period. Psychology Press. pp. 233–234. ISBN 0714629197. Retrieved 2 November 2014.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Communiqué on Secretary-General's Mini-Summit on Somalia". United Nations. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Egypt to help re-build Somali Ministry of Defence". Sabahi. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Somalia: foreign minister receives Egypt's Charge D'affaires in his office". Goobjoog. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  11. ^ a b "SOMALIA: President Mohamud receive New Egyptian ambassador to Somalia". Raxanreeb. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  12. ^ Martino, John (2013). Worldwide Government Directory with Intergovernmental Organizations 2013. CQ Press. p. 520. ISBN 1452299374.
  13. ^ "Pack of cards". Al-Ahram. Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Egypt to re-open embassy in Mogadishu". Sabahi. 11 March 2013. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.

External links[edit]