June 10th, 2012
04:47 PM ET

First senior U.S. official in 19 years visits Mogadishu

By David McKenzie

For the first time in nearly 20 years, a senior U.S. official visited the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Sunday, a sign of improving security in a country long considered a failed state.

Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary for African affairs, met with Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, president of Somalia's transitional government, along with several high-ranking government and diplomatic officials.

"I think that we probably are in the best position that we have been in more than two decades, and my very presence in Mogadishu was an acknowledgment of the progress made," Carson told CNN Sunday in an interview in Nairobi after leaving Somalia.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Al-Shabaab • Security Brief • Somalia • Yemen