- Somaliland's Finance Minister Hussein Ali Dualeh today denied a report carried by the UAE Arabic daily 'Al Khaleej', saying that he recently visited Nairobi and held talks with Somali delegates preparing Somalia's new government there. Officials fron the self-declared Somaliland republic have turned down invitations to participate in the Nairobi talks, calling the "internal affairs" of Somalia.
In a telephone call to 'Awdalnews Network', Somaliland Minister Dualeh said that he was busy preparing the national budget over the last 20 days and had hardly any time to do anything else let alone go on a foreign trip.
Describing the report as "wishful thinking" disseminated by the "enemies of Somaliland," he said that he neither had visited Nairobi in the recent past nor had the intention to visit it while the Somali peace talks were in session there.
When asked why the press published such a baseless report, Mr Dualeh said "leaders of the Somali factions fear me so much because I worked in Nairobi as Somaliland's Representative for some time and I have many friends in the Kenyan and East African diplomatic communities."
Minister Dualeh, however, said that he was flabbergasted why a reputable paper like 'Al Khaleej' would publish such baseless and unfounded report, "they should have been a little more careful and little more professional" the Somalilander Minister added.
In its Friday edition (1 October), 'Al Khaleej' reported that Somaliland Finance Minister had made a surprise visit to Nairobi ahead of the Somali presidential elections on 10 October and urged deputies hailing from Somaliland to form a unified front and establish alliances in order to claim the Prime Minister's post and not the Presidency.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of President Dahir Riyale Kahin of Somaliland, Abdi Idris Dualeh, earlier today issued a statement in which he denied the Finance Minister's visit to Nairobi.
He described the report as "baseless and totally unfounded" innuendoes spread by "Somaliland's enemies".
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