WASHINGTON — GOP Rep. Tom Emmer and Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison said Tuesday they were joining together to launch a Somalia Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The effort comes as the African country “emerges from decades of violent conflict and humanitarian crises,” the two said in a statement Tuesday.

“We are committed to assisting the Somali government build on economic and security gains they have achieved,” the statement said. “Together, we represent some of the largest Somali-American communities in the United States; for us and the constituents we represent, Somalia is not a far off foreign policy issue, it’s a matter of domestic policy and national security.”