Two US warships have arrived at Somaliland after the ruler of the self-proclaimed republic offered to host a US naval base there.
During US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ visit to Djibouti late last year, the US military expressed interest in security coordination with Somaliland government that can offer greater potential for US military presence in the Horn of Africa nation.
Somaliland welcomed the US initiative.
Dahir Rayale Kahin, president of the former British protectorate that broke away from war-torn Somalia in 1991, said he wanted the US to put a military base at the northeastern port of Berbera as part of efforts to win international recognition, Press TV correspondent in Somalia reports.
Kahin, who visited Washington and hosted the top US diplomat for Africa early this year, also expressed high hopes for finding oil in his land.
A planned auction of oil licenses will give priority to US oil companies holding concessions from the 1980s, he said.
Somaliland’s president, Kahin, took office when Somaliland founder Mohamed Ibrahim Egal died in 2002. Kahin, from the minority Gadabursi clan, was elected the following year with a margin of just 80 votes out of 490,000.