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Somali Speaker urges withdrawal of Ethiopian troops

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Dec 29, 2006 (NAIROBI) — The Speaker of the interim parliament of Somalia, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, who is currently in Nairobi, has said he regrets the presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia, urging them to pull out of the country.

The speaker of the transitional parliament, Sheik Sharif Hassan Adan, has rebelled against the government and is throwing his support behind the Islamic movement, which has vowed to wage a last stand from southern Somalia.

"The presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia is illegal, it is against the charter of the transitional government," he told the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Somali service. "Somalis should resist against Ethiopian troops."

The Speaker also mentioned the Khartoum peace talks, saying there was no need for Ethiopian troops to enter Somalia at this time.

Speaking on the presence of Ethiopian troops in the country, the Speaker said: “as the parliament, we regret what happened. This is what we had been fighting, shouting about and rejecting for a long time, and there is nowhere in the world we haven’t went to and told about, and including all Somalis. Surely, we regret what had happened. It’s not an issue acceptable to Somalis and the world. “

“A neighbouring country invading and capturing a country is a new problem that has just started. I am asking the world, that the issue will disturb the whole world and I’m asking steps be taken.” he added.

But the president of the Somali interim government, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad, reassured the press in Badawa that Soamlia would not become another Iraq and Somalia is not Iraq.

The president’s press conference followed a meeting he held with the foreign minister of Ethiopia, Seyoum Mesfin, who arrived in Baydhabo today. Mesfin later returned to Ethiopia. The president said his meeting with Mesfin centred on political issues concerning the two countries.

(ST)

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