The US Department of State has dismissed the latest bid for recognition by the leader of self-declared republic of Somaliland.
President Muse Bihi Abdi is on a charm offensive in the US where he made a passionate plea for international recognition as a nation state.
Somaliland seceded from Somalia more than 30 years ago, but it is not recognised as an independent state by the African Union or the United Nations.
President Bihi said 10 years of unification talks with Somalia “had achieved nothing”.
“[Somaliland] is prepared to pursue all available avenues for international recognition.
“Somaliland believes that the international community has a moral obligation to support Somaliland’s pursuit of international recognition,” he said.
The US Department of State said it welcomed the meeting with Mr Bihi and the discussions on “strengthening US engagement with Somaliland within the framework of our single Somalia policy”.
Since declaring independence from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland functions like a country – with its own passport, currency, flag, government and army.