US to recognize Somalia government after 20-year hiatus

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Clinton does not intend to announce any specific new aid packages for Somalia, which already receives significant U.S. humanitarian assistance for drought, famine and refugee relief, one senior U.S. official said.

But formal U.S. recognition of the new government paves the way for new flows of assistance both from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other U.S. agencies as well as from international actors such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“The fact that we recognize a government there will allow us to do things through USAID that we have not been able to do before. The fact that we recognize them as a legitimate government will allow the World Bank and the IMF to do things that they would not have been able to do before. This is major and it is significant,” the official said.

Mohamud and his team met with senior USAID officials as well as World Bank President Jim Yong Kim during their trip to Washington, U.S. officials said.

The senior U.S. official said the United States did not have any immediate plan to reopen an embassy in Mogadishu but indicated that this could also eventually follow Thursday’s announcement. U.S. policy on Somalia is currently handled by a special envoy based out of Nairobi.

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