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Keith Ellison visits Mogadishu, meets with Somalia President

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Ellison in MogadishuMogadishu (Alshahid)-A U.S. congressman visited Somalia’s capital on Tuesday, the first visit in years by a member of Congress to what until recently was considered one of the world’s most dangerous cities.

Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, visited Mogadishu and met with Somalia’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.

“I represent my constituency, and I come here to see the country at first hand,” he told journalists in Mogadishu. “We met with the president first, and had very fruitful discussion about the United States and Somalia.”

Among the issues discussed were Somali refugees in Kenya and remittances from Somalis abroad, the congressman said.

Ellison noted that the U.S. government recently recognized the Somali government for the first time since the country fell into anarchy in 1991. President Barack Obama’s administration formally recognized the Somali government on Jan. 17.

Mogadishu has experienced about 18 months of relative peace, after the August 2011 ouster of the Alshabaab militants from the capital by Somali troops and African Union forces.

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