There is a great deal of talk regarding the London’s conference and its intended delegates; which of course, Somaliland is supposed to be a one of the invitees. Also, the British government seemed to have went into a great deal of effort in convincing the Somaliland’s administration in attending (preferably at the highest level) this conference.
However, reading all the tealeaves of UK’s larger government agenda in here, one could say with confidence, that, it’s with regret that Somaliland must decline such an invitation. Since, the over-all agenda of this conference is not conducive to her over-all bottom-line.
For, what we have in here (at least in so far as Somaliland is concern) is nothing but what, in different age, the likes of Viscount Palmerston would of understood it. And, that is, because his old political dictum would of have come to play in here; which was:
“….Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests….”
For both UK and for Somaliland, it seems that their respective and core national interest seemed to have taken a "divergent path" from one another (at least in the view of what each is to the other is concern). And, by that, we mean, it's quite evident that UK’s ultimate objective is to settle the issue of security of Somalia (where Al-Shabaab) has menacing case of a “religious appeal” to make to young British Somalis.
And, therefore, to have a functioning government in Mogadishu is much more preferable for them particularly when it comes to having security-related contact functioning in Mogadishu; so that the likes of “MI5” in London can have their “fill-of-intelligence” from them, indeed. Also, if that hoped for outcome for Somalia were to materialize, then, the large floating population of "Asylum-seekers" from Somalia could be speedily return from UK to Somalia.
Also, if a proper government is established in Somalia, then, in that case, the UK’s economical foothold in East Africa, particularly, in Kenya will not be troubled by any spill-over of Somalia’s incessant political nightmare.
Which means, in so far as UK is concern, all of this is a perfect “Palmerstonian’s Politics” in action. Which means, it’s perfectly understandable on it’s own term.
Of course, it goes without saying, that ours (i.e., Somaliland) is rather different sets of articulated agenda. And, the chief amongst them, is our independence. Hence, it’s clear to us that to UK’s current government those sets of policy of hers is paramount to her. And, therefore, if the prize of getting them is to "sacrifice" Somaliland’s agenda along the way, then, UK government seems to have persuaded itself that they could really "pull a wool over our eyes" in here.
Consequently, the up-shot of it, is that, we in Somaliland, may, with full justification, call that a “naked perfidy” of the most galling kind, on the part of the British, indeed.
But, still what matters in here, is that Somaliland, should, politely, decline such offer from UK; not in-terms of "angry denunciations", that will even shame a jilted lover, but, on the high diplomatic language, that would even make that old moribund Lord Palmerston, wryly smile in his grave. Particularly, when he realized how Somaliland turn the UK’s charm offensive in here with an equal aplomb of hers; in the sense of saying to UK’s government:
“…So sorry, old chaps, for we would love to help you there. But, just as your national interest dictate that you must sell us down the river with a cheap shillings of political conniving kind (no less), particularly, at the behest of Somalia; we in turn, must also, play to our national interest, and decline to take a walk beside you all the way to the riverbank, indeed….”
All in all; this is a high game of diplomacy, and we in Somaliland must be brave enough to play our card according to our interest. Hence, it’s with regret, that, I would advise Somaliland’s government to decline to attend this conference.
Of course, there will be fall out. For, UK's government, Somalis are getting a handful, in-terms of "security concern" at national level (hence why the MI5 and the Home Office are pushing the Foreign Office to do this, even, if it's going to hurt Somaliland along the way). But, that is no reason as to why we in Somaliland should be the "sacrificial lamb" in here; or even, for that matter accept it, as such, from UK's government.
But, still, for what is worth, I believe that in time the UK’s government will see things in our way (particularly after their initial disappointment with us passes away). For, still we have our “Lobby group” in here in parliament (mostly MPs and various ennobled "Lords"); as well as considering how UK’s business interests in Somaliland still is a brisk and good prospect for many of the "resource extractions" industry, indeed.
Hence, after few months, I am sure those "well-oil-wheels" of people-to-people diplomacy will kick into a high-gear; and smooth things over with the governing Tories in London. In other words, the long-term implication of this act on the part of Somaliland will not be that catastrophic, if, that is, we play our "diplomatic card" in it’s appropriate way, in the mean-time.
But, the "bottom-line" is this London conference, has no larger accumulating interest where Somaliland is concern; and, it has everything to subtract from our national goal. Hence, we must turn it down the invitation to attend it.