After nearly 15 years of inactivity, Yemen has announced plans to reopen its embassy in Somalia.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora of Yemen, Dr. Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, and his Somali counterpart, Abshir Omar Jama, laid the foundational stone for the new Yemeni Embassy building in Mogadishu on Friday.
The ceremony was attended by the Yemeni ambassador to Somalia, Fadal Al-Hanaq and members of the Yemeni diplomatic mission in Mogadishu.
The Yemeni diplomatic delegation arrived in Mogadishu on Tuesday.
The Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the construction of the first phase of the new embassy in Yemen is a significant development step towards strengthening bilateral cooperation.
Yemen was one of the first states to reopen its embassy in Somalia in 2007 following the collapse of the central government of Somalia in 1991. The Yemeni embassy in Mogadishu was closed in September 2008 as friction between the interim government of President Abdullahi Yusuf and the opposition groups made the security situation precarious.
The Yemeni embassy was located near the Somali presidential palace.
Following the Houthi rebels' takeover of Sana'a from Yemen's internationally recognized government in 2016, Somalia closed its embassy due to security concerns. At the time, Somalia said that it planned to relocate its mission to Aden, the interim capital for the Yemeni government.
The Yemen conflict began in 2015 and has caused widespread destruction and displacement, making it difficult to secure and maintain embassy buildings and other diplomatic facilities. In addition, the security situation in the country has become increasingly unstable, making it dangerous for diplomats and other embassy staff to travel within the country.
Somalia and Yemen have a long history of diplomatic relations, dating back to the days of the British and Italian colonies in the region. Historically, the two countries have had strong economic ties, with bilateral trade flowing freely between Somali and Yemeni merchants. In addition to financial connections, the two countries also have strong cultural and social relations. However, in recent years, the relationship between the two countries has been strained by the ongoing civil war in Yemen and the ongoing conflict in Somalia.