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UK appoints ambassador to Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) – Britain is appointing a new ambassador to Somalia, resuming its diplomatic presence after more than 20 years of upheaval.

Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in Mogadishu on Thursday and appointed Matt Baugh as a senior U.K. Somalia representative. Hague is the first British foreign secretary to visit Mogadishu in 20 years.

The appointment comes just ahead of a Feb. 23 global conference on Somalia that the U.K. is hosting.

Hague met with Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and said the U.K. will help Somalia during a year of political transition. The Somali government’s U.N. mandate expires in August.

The U.N. last month sent its senior representative on Somalia to Mogadishu for the first time in nearly two decades.

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