China reopens embassy in Somalia after 23 years

China has reopened its embassy in Somalia after a gap of 23 years, in a significant move to support the African country's peace process and post-war reconstruction.

PTI| Updated: Oct 13, 2014, 23:19 PM IST

Beijing: China has reopened its embassy in Somalia after a gap of 23 years, in a significant move to support the African country's peace process and post-war reconstruction.

China officially reopened its embassy in Somalia yesterday and accredited a new ambassador to the country in the horn of Africa, which is recovering from years of conflict.

"The reopening of the Chinese embassy in Somalia is a significant move by China in supporting Somalia's peace process and post-war reconstruction," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here today.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming announced the official re-opening of the embassy in a ceremony in the capital Mogadishu.

"We believe that a new chapter will be written in the friendly and cooperative relations between China and Somalia," he said.

China had closed its embassy and relocated its staff after the breakout of civil war in Somalia in 1991, when the country descended into chaos and lawlessness that lasted for 23 years.

The Chinese government has been providing humanitarian support for Somalia since the collapse of the central government in 1991.

China is one of the latest countries to reopen its embassy in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, where several countries, mostly African and Arab nations, have diplomatic representation.

Turkey, UK and Norway are among the European nations that have sent ambassadors to Mogadishu.