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US to recognise first Somali government in 20 years

Published on Jan 17, 2013 6:22 AM
Somali President Hassan Sheik Mahmud and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (unseen) hold a joint press conference at the presidential palace in Khartoum, on January 2, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States will on Thursday recognise the first Somali government in two decades, heralding a significant shift in ties since the deadly 1993 attack on US helicopters over Mogadishu.

The beginning of a new chapter will come when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchanges diplomatic notes with visiting Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a top US official said on Wednesday.

"The visit here this week of the new Somalian president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud represents a significant change in the security and political situation on the ground in Somalia and our relationship with that country," Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson told journalists.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991.

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