US soon to have permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia

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Mogadishu - The United States ambassador to Somalia says the US once again will have a permanent diplomatic presence in the country after it opens offices in Mogadishu later this year.

The US embassy was closed in 1991 as the Horn of Africa nation slid into decades of chaos. Former Secretary of State John Kerry during a 2015 visit said the US would begin the process of re-establishing a diplomatic presence.

Ambassador Stephen Schwartz, the first US ambassador to Somalia in a quarter-century, this week told Radio Muqdisho the new "facility" should open in October.

The ambassador also says the United States has funding to build a new embassy, but he did not give details on timing.

The US Mission to Somalia is currently based in neighboring Kenya.

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