On January 17, 2013, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Washington, D.C., and announced that the United States is recognizing the Government of Somalia for the first time since 1991. Secretary Clinton said, "Today is a milestone. It's not the end of the journey but it's an important milestone to that end.""Somalia's transformation was achieved first and foremost by the people and leaders of Somalia, backed by strong, African-led support. We also want to thank the African Union, which deserves a great deal of credit for Somalia's success," Secretary Clinton said. "The United States was proud to support this effort."
President Hassan Sheikh said, "Somalia is very grateful for the unwavering support from the United States to the people of Somalia. U.S. is a major donor to Somalia, which include humanitarian assistance and help toward security. We both have common interests and common enemy, which we must redouble our efforts to bring peace and stability in Somalia.
"Somalia is emerging from a very long, difficult period, and we are now moving away from the chaos, instability, extremism, piracy, an era, to an era of peaceful and development. We are aiming to make a valuable contribution to the region and the world at large."
Our "Photo of the Week" comes to us from the Secretary's official photographer, Michael Gross, and shows Secretary Clinton and President Hassan Sheikh shaking hands during this historic announcement. In recognizing President Hassan Sheikh's government as the Government of Somalia, the United States is committing to sustained diplomatic engagement with the Somali authorities.
In addition to meeting with Secretary Clinton, President Hassan Sheikh met with Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough, Deputy Administrator of USAID Donald Steinberg, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller, and a number of other U.S. government officials in Washington. Today, he will meet with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice. Read more about President Hassan Sheikh's visit to the United States.