US signs bilateral deal with Somalia, promises debt

MOGADISHU, Somalia – The United States has signed a bilateral deal with Somalia, in another important step that gives the Horn of Africa yet another opportunity to reform its declining financial fortunes, which has seen the country struggle to lead historic development.

On Sunday in Mogadishu, US Ambassador Donald Yamamoto led the event which also saw Somali Finance Minister Abdirahman Beileh and new Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble honor the event. It was the first official deal Roble had ever seen.

The bilateral deal, the US embassy said, provided for the reduction and restructuring of debt owed by the Somali federal government [FGS] to three US government agencies. One of the agencies is the debt of the Paris Club which has been financing projects in the Horn of Africa country for several years.

“The signing of this agreement was made possible because Somalia has implemented important economic reforms in recent years and in March 2020 reached the first stage of debt relief, known as the decision ”as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. By the time Somalia reaches the final phase, ‘Completion Point’, the United States will have canceled more than $ 1 billion in debt, ”the United States said.

“We commend the FGS for its progress in pursuing economic reform. Working through the process of debt relief will enable Somalia to regain access to financial support from international financial institutions so that it can invest in poverty reduction and economic growth, ”the statement from the US Embassy added.

For decades now, the United States has supported Somalia to stimulate the local economy in addition to streamlining security in the country. In fact, a good number of the Somali National Army [SNA] the soldiers are paid by Washington DC, which trains special forces commonly known as Danab.

To help the country completely defeat Al-Shabaab militants, the United States has also carried out airstrikes in several parts of the country. Washington insisted that the commitment to continue helping Somalia remains without commitment, adding that special emphasis should be placed on economic recovery programs.

“The United States remains a committed partner with Somalia and is happy to play a role in ensuring the economic success of the Somali people,” added the statement, which comes just weeks after Al-Shabaab militants attacked an American base in Jubaland. .

Beileh praised the United States for its continued support, adding that the United States had remained close to Somalia throughout the turmoil. He said the debt relief will allow Somalia to regain control on the economic front, arguing that the relief would also allow the country to turn to other international lenders for support.

“Today, I witnessed the historic signing of the Somalia-US debt relief agreement during my bilateral meeting with Ambassador Yamamoto of US2SOMALIA. The United States is a strong supporter of reform and development in Somalia. We are grateful for this partnership, ”he wrote.

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