South Africa opens ties with So­ma­lia

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG | South Africa says it is es­tab­lish­ing its first diplo­matic re­la­tions with So­ma­lia in hopes it can as­sist in the war-torn East African na­tion’s search for peace and democ­racy.

The South African For­eign Min­istry said Tues­day that For­eign Min­is­ter Maite NkoanaMasha­bane reached an agree­ment to ex­change diplo­mats with her So­mali coun­ter­part in that coun­try’s tran­si­tional gov­ern­ment.

It said only peace ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween all So­mali armed groups could re­store con­sti­tu­tional law af­ter more than two decades of civil war.

The state­ment said South Africa is ready to share ex­pe­ri­ences of its own his­tory in end­ing apartheid-era rule and build­ing a new con­sti­tu­tion.

Diplo­mats based in Kenya will act for South Africa un­til an em­bassy can be opened in Mo­gadishu.

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