Somalia embraces Kenya’s reopening of airspace

Following a month of closure due to a diplomatic conflict between the two neighboring nations, the Somali government welcomed Kenya’s reopening of the airspace on Thursday.

Nairobi’s decision, according to government spokesman Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, might lead to full normalization of diplomatic relations between Nairobi and Mogadishu.

“This move could pave the way for normalization of the bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries,” Moalimuu said in a brief statement.

The government spokesman made the comment after the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that the decision to restore Somalia’s airspace was made as a goodwill gesture to strengthen bilateral relationships and was necessitated by shared interests.

Somalia broke diplomatic ties with Kenya in December 2020, citing Nairobi of repeatedly infringing on Mogadishu’s sovereignty. Mogadishu and Nairobi resumed diplomatic relations on May 5 after Qatar intervened.

On May 11, Kenya’s aviation authorities halted all flights to and from Somalia after Somalia refused to relax a ban on Kenya’s cargo flights for khat (miraa) imposed in 2020.

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