Lithuania establishes diplomatic relations with Somalia
On the margins of the ongoing African Union - European Union summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somalia Yusuf Garaad Omar on 30 November signed a Joint Communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In the meeting, Linkevičius presented Lithuania’s participation in Operation Atalanta - the European Union’s counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia and briefed about the departure on 29 November of Lithuanian soldiers to take part in the operation. The Foreign Ministers also discussed Somalia’s internal challenges, the country’s future prospects, and security situation in the region.
Lithuania has participated in the EU’s counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia since 2013. The Lithuanian soldiers will protect the vessel of the United Nations World Food Program sailing in the Indian Ocean and carrying food to Somalia. It is already the fourth rotation of Lithuanian soldiers, who will participate in the operation with about 1,000 forces from EU member states and partner countries, as well as ships and aircraft, until March 2018.
Somalia became the 184th country with which Lithuania has established diplomatic relations. Currently, the United Nations has 193 member states.