Somalia: Frattini will meet Somali authorities

Today and tomorrow, Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, will meet the authorities of Somalia for the meeting of the “International Contact Group on Somalia”.

The group gathers international actors (states and international organizations) more committed to the peace process in Somalia, currently chaired by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Somalia, Ambassador Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah.

It is expected the participation of the Somali prime minister, Ali Sharmarke, and Somali Foreign minister Abdullahi Omaar.

Italy – as stated in a press release from the Italian foreign office – supports the current Somali government of national unity “because – as Frattini said in a speech in the Quirinal Palace during the Africa Day celebrations – they appear to be seriously committed to building a lasting peace, through a broad consensus, without exclusion, of all those components of Somali society who reject violence and terrorism”.

“We must keep alive the attention of the international community – added Frattini – recently awakened by the new piracy. An unstable Somalia is detrimental effect not only to the Horn of Africa, but also to the Mediterranean, to Europe and to the entire international community.

Before the conclusion, the same press release stressed the commitment in support of Somalia highlighting a commitment to cooperation. Many NGOs, however, are protesting against the government’s cuts to development cooperation.

“Italy was the first donor country to send in the last few days humanitarian aid to the Somali people affected by recent fighting, while Africa remains Italy’s priority”.

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