WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2017 — In a meeting at the Pentagon with Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre of Somalia yesterday, Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan reinforced the strong U.S. support for defeating the al-Shabab and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a spokesperson for Shanahan said.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins said Shanahan also noted U.S. support for the Somali government as it works through the difficult decisions in implementing the national security architecture agreed to in May at the London Somalia Conference.
No Safe Haven for Terrorists
The leaders also discussed efforts to prevent terrorists from using Somalia as a safe haven, she added.
“Both leaders emphasized the importance of maintaining pressure on regional terrorist groups through the African Union Mission in Somalia and Somali national forces, as well as the importance of political progress in securing lasting stability,” Higgins said.
In remarks he delivered at the conference in May, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the United States recognizes that it is essential for Somalia to have a professional, trusted military and proper police force that answers to civilian authority.
Mattis also encouraged Somalia’s international partners to stay the course and work together. “A strong and committed partnership is required to provide the resources needed for long-term stability in Somalia,” he added.