Somalia: Iran to Open Embassy in Somalia

Mogadishu — Iran said it would set up an embassy in Mogadishu and Turkey promised to rebuild Somalia's parliament building, as the two neighbors, at odds over Syria, vied for influence in the Horn of Africa country.

Somalia has been mired in violence, Islamist militancy and grinding poverty since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, leaving the country with no effective central government for two decades.

But security has improved in the last 18 months with al Qaeda-linked militants losing more territory under their control under pressure from African Union and Somali forces.

The country is looking to foreign donors to help rebuild its ravaged economy after decades of conflict.

Tehran's move to open an embassy followed Turkey's decision to set up its embassy in Mogadishu last year.

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