US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, announced on Thursday (January 17th) that the US has officially recognized Somalia's government in Mogadishu after more than 20 years.
After a meeting in Washington with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Clinton said the event "is not the end of the journey, but it is an important milestone towards that end". She said the US wanted "an open, transparent dialogue about what more we can do to help the people of Somalia realize their own dream". President Mohamud said the people of Somalia were grateful for America's "unwavering support" as the country emerged "from a very long, difficult period".
He said the new leadership was "working for a Somalia that is at peace with itself and with its neighbors, where its citizens can go about their daily lives in safety". The recognition follows the new government's progress towards political stability and "breaking the back" of the Al-Shabaab insurgency. The decision could pave the way for greater US and international economic aid for Somalia.
The US never formally cut diplomatic ties with Somalia, but does not currently have an embassy in Somalia. Officials indicated that this was now a possibility in the future.