Djibouti(Mogadishu24)-The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, met with the United States’ Secretary of Defense, Mr. Lloyd Austin, on Sunday in Djibouti.

During their official visit in Djibouti, the two leaders discussed security cooperation between the two countries, particularly the U.S. support of the fight against Al-Shabaab.

They also discussed the potential lifting of the arms embargo imposed on Somalia in 1992, which has limited the Somali National Army’s ability to combat terrorism due to a lack of advanced weapons.

“President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with the US Secretary of Defense in Djibouti. They discussed further enhancing the Somalia-U.S. security partnership, support for the ongoing offensive against international terrorism, and efforts towards lifting the decades-long arms embargo,” stated Villa Somalia in its official X account.

The U.S. Secretary for Defense, Lloyd Austin acknowledged the efforts made by the Somali people in the fight against terrorism, reiterating his commitment to support Somalia to combat Al-Shabaab militants

“I met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during my visit in Djibouti to discuss our shared efforts to counter al-Shabaab and acknowledged the courage and sacrifice of the Somali people as we work together to tackle the challenges that lay ahead,” said Lloyd Austin, U.S. Secretary for Defense.

This meeting came at a crucial time when Somalia, along with international partners, intensified efforts to eradicate Al-Shabaab.

On September 22nd, the Somali government reported that a U.S. airstrike killed Al-Shabaab commander Issack Abdullahi along with his seven bodyguards.

However, Al-Shabaab claimed that the strike killed eight civilians from the same family, including six children.

An official from the U.S. defense confirmed that one contractor and a partner force were injured in the Al-Shabaab attack on the Kulbiyow base on the 22nd of September.

Al-Shabaab, via a Telegram message, claimed that four U.S. soldiers and nine Kenyan troops were injured in the Kulbiyow attack this week.

In recent weeks, Al-Shabaab has resorted to planned attacks on military bases and civilian targets and killed dozens of SNA soldiers and civilians.

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