Somalia rejoins UN postal body after decades-long hiatus

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MOGADISHU, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Somalia has officially rejoined UN specialized body for postal services Universal Postal Union (UPU), after more than two-decade-long sanctions were lifted.

Abdi Ashur Hassan, Somalia's minister for post, telecom and technology, and Bishar Hussein, UPU director-general, on Tuesday signed an amortization plan under which Mogadishu undertakes to pay its debt over a period of 10 years starting from 2019.

"The agreement would not only help lift sanctions imposed on Somalia, but also open doors for Somalia to become an active member in the union after decades of absence," Hassan said in a statement released on Thursday.

The debt, amounting to 1.88 million Swiss francs (1.88 million U.S. dollars) for the unpaid membership fees and accrued interest since 1982, came at a time when Somali Postal Service was not accessing the services as the country's postal service was destroyed in the civil war in 1991.

The deal now allows the UPU's 192 member states to resume sending mail to Somalia once the arrangements are finalized.

"From today you are a full member with full rights and sanctions will be lifted from today," Hussein said in the statement, adding that all relevant departments will be working with Somalia in their respective areas to facilitate the reconstruction of Somalia. Enditem

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