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Somalia seeks Ethiopia’s continued support in peace efforts

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

September 16, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – War ravaged Somalia has sought continued support from neighbouring Ethiopia as part of ongoing efforts to maintain sustainable peace and security.

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Somalia president, Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud. (AP)

Somalia, which is seeing a relative revival from decades of war, made the request after Somalia president, Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, paid a visit to Addis Ababa and held talks with Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom on Sunday.

While commending Ethiopia’s significant role in bringing peace and stability in Somalia, president Mahmoud said Addis Ababa’s continued support remains key to achieving national reconciliation and bringing about durable peace and security in Somalia.

According to the office of Ethiopia’s foreign affairs spokesperson, the Somalia president also lauded Ethiopia’s role in regional peace building as well as “fostering economic integration through developing regional infrastructure, trade and other social and economic activities”.

At the occasion, the Ethiopian foreign minister assured president Mahmoud’s delegation that his country as a neighbor and as chair to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will continue to deliver the necessary support until sustainable peace is achieved in Somalia.

Adhanom, who noted the existing bilateral relation between Ethiopia and Somali as strong, underscored Ethiopia’s keenness to strengthen social ties between the people of the two countries.

It was noted at the occasion that ensuring peace and stability in Somalia was a crucial contribution to ensure peace in the volatile East African region as a whole and to boost development and regional integration.

After holding the talks, the Somalia delegation headed to Brussels to attend “the New Deal Conference for Somalia”, a new strategy which intends to design ways to speed up progress and facilitate reconstruction of Somalia within the next three years.

As chair of the IGAD Council of Ministers, Ethiopia will also take part at the conference represented by its foreign minister, Tedros Adhanom.

The conference is being co-hosted by the European Union and the Somalia government and is expected to endorse a "New Deal Compact" that will enable Somalia - as a fragile state - to receive financial, political and other socio-economic assistance from international partners.

(ST)

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