Minister Mark Simmonds met members of the Somaliland diaspora in Cardiff
May 1st, 2013
Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds met members of the Somaliland diaspora in Cardiff to discuss a range of issues around UK foreign policy.
More than 20 local leaders, community workers and political activists, including women representatives, attended the event at the National Assembly for Wales on Monday.
In his remarks, the Minister paid tribute to the long-standing friendship between the UK and Somaliland, including the deep historical ties with Cardiff. He also noted the impressive progress made in Somaliland in terms of development and business links, and welcomed the significant contribution the diaspora had made towards strengthening Somaliland.
During a lively debate, the Minister fielded questions, including on the relationship between Mogadishu and Hargeisa, the links between the diaspora and the UK, and UK development aid to Somaliland.
At the end of the meeting, the group presented the Minister with a photographic book highlighting the sea-faring heritage of the Somaliland community there.
In concluding, the Minister said: “This was a very useful opportunity to speak to the Somaliland diaspora, and hold a dialogue in which everyone is free to raise what is on their mind. I look forward to keeping in touch with the diaspora closely in future”.