Australia’s High Commissioner to Kenya with non-resident accreditation to Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda Alison Chartres finally presented copies of her credentials to Somalia’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdulkadir Ahmed-Kheir Abdi on Tuesday in Mogadishu.
Chartres was posted to Kenya and the region in August 2017 and succeeded John Feakes, who is now the High Commissioner to Fiji.
“The State Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Mr., received on Tuesday (1 October) in #Mogadishu a copy of the credentials of Her Excellency Ms. Alison Chartres, Ambassador of #Australia to the Federal Republic of #Somalia,” Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
“It was my honour today to present copies of my credentials to H.E. Mr Abdulkadir Ahmed-Kheir Abdi, Somalia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and in the company of Jade Cooper and Yonis Hashi. A warm welcome to #Somalia and thank you @MofaSomalia,” she tweeted on Tuesday.
This could be an indication of renewed interest in the Horn of Africa country, which is embroiled in a maritime border dispute with Kenya.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade acknowledges that Somalia occupies an “important geopolitical position on the Horn of Africa, bridging sub-Saharan Africa and the countries of Arabia and southwestern Asia”.
Large quantities of Australia’s seaborne trade, it says, pass through the busy maritime trade routes and shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia.
Australia also provided $10.5 million in humanitarian assistance for Somalia in 2018-19,
Chartres was among leaders, government officials and diplomats attending the 2019 Somalia Partnership Forum in Mogadishu between October 1-2.
Somalia and its international partners agreed on a Mutual Accountability Framework to narrow their joint focus to priority areas for action and resources in order to achieve key priority outcomes before December 2020.