Somaliland is prepared to open conditional dialogue over its relationship to Somalia as long as Somaliland's independence is not up for discussion, Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo announced Thursday (February 14th).
Silanyo referred to a 2001 referendum in which 97% of Somaliland residents said they wished to remain an independent state. "In view of this unanimous decision by citizens of my country, we shall continue with our relentless quest for international recognition even while holding talks with Somalia," he said, according to the Somaliland Sun.
Silanyo spoke at Somaliland's Egal International Airport following a week-long visit to the United Kingdom, where he met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and expressed his readiness to continue talks with the Somali government.
Although Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, the international community has not recognised it as a separate entity from Somalia.