§ 33. Mr. James Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress is being made towards resumption of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Somalia.
§ Mr. George Thomson
As my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs said in another place on 2nd December, we remain ready to resume relations at any time. But we have no indication as yet that the Somali Government wish to do so.
§ Mr. Johnson
Will my hon. Friend accept my view that there is a dangerous vacuum in the Horn of Africa despite the fact that the Somalis have enormous good will for us? Would he at least consider establishing a consulate in Mogadishu so that instead of the Americans doing our job there for us, and the Italians doing the Somalis' job here for them, we could do it ourselves?
§ Mr. Thomson
My hon. Friend, as always, makes a constructive suggestion, and if the Somali Government were in fact to ask Her Majesty's Government to appoint a consul in Mogadishu as a preliminary to full resumption of relations we would be ready to consider that.