NAIROBI—Kenya and Somalia have agreed to normalise diplomatic relations and resume the free movement of people and businesses.
At a joint press conference in Nairobi, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and President Uhuru said they will start with the restoration of the issuance of travel visas on arrival arrangements for citizens of the two nations.
”The restoration of the visa on arrival arrangement is aimed at enhancing free and unhindered movement of people and commerce between Kenya and Somalia,” President Uhuru said.
President Farmaajo welcomed the move, saying the normalisation of the relations is part of the friendly ties between Kenya and Somalia.
“We have a lot in common and we should not let the ICJ (International Court of Justice) issue affect our bilateral relations,” Farmaajo added.
The two leaders reaffirmed the invaluable relations that exist between Kenya and Somalia and agreed to explore avenues of strengthening bilateral and diplomatic ties between Nairobi and Mogadishu for the benefit of the citizens of the two nations.
“We have a lot in common: people to people, Government to Government, business to business.
“Of course we have a trade that is mutually beneficial to both countries but people [talk about] our differences rather than our common interest,” President Farmajo stated.
President Mohamed conveyed his gratitude to President Kenyatta for the role Kenya continues to play in AMISOM and for the hospitality the country continues to accord Somali refugees.
“Their sacrifices will not go in vain,” President Farmajo said.
According to statement by the State House in Nairobi and shared on Facebook, president Farmaajo “expressed confidence” that the maritime boundary dispute between his country and Kenya that is currently before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, “will be resolved in a mutually acceptable manner.”
Villa Somalia is yet to react to the claims by their Kenyan counterparts.