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Somalia calls for global assistance


Abu Dhabi,(Kh.T)16th August 2002,By

SOMALI Foreign Minister Yousef Hassan Ibrahim has expressed gratitude to the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for UAE's continuous assistance and support to the Somali people during their crisis times.

Speaking at the Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-Up on Wednesday, Mr Ibrahim said Shaikh Zayed had spared no effort and used all means towards ensuring peace, security and unity in Somalia. "As His Highness Shaikh Zayed has achieved development in his country, in the same way, he wants to see prosperity in all the brotherly Arab countries," he said. Mr Ibrahim greeted Shaikh Zayed and the UAE people, on behalf of his country, on the 36th anniversary of the accession of Shaikh Zayed, as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, wishing him good health, and progress and prosperity to the UAE.

The Somali minister spoke about the situation in his country and his government's efforts to restore peace and stability following years of civil war which destroyed the country's economy and infrastructure. Mr Ibrahim said the mission to restore calm and bring life back to normalcy was almost 'impossible' without the support of the international community. He called upon the regional and international organisations to fulfil their promise to assist his government to help in the post-civil war and reconstruction era.

"We appeal to the international community, the United Nations and other regional and international organisations to fulfil the promises made by them, after Arta conference, to help restore peace and achieve reconciliation in Somalia and to provide support to enable the transitional government to restore law and order and achieve harmony among the Somalis," Mr Ibrahim said.

He also called upon the Arab countries which agreed at the Amman and Beirut summits to provide assistance to the Somali people to help them overcome the crisis, and to implement their decisions. "This, in addition to helping restore peace and save the economy, will further help my country to contribute to the Arab efforts towards peace and development." Rejecting the accusations that his country sponsored terrorism, the Somali minister said there were no bases or terrorist camps in Somalia. "We know that some circles are behind these baseless accusations, and they aim at isolating my country. The Somali people are Muslims but they have nothing to do with religious extremism."

Mr Ibrahim said that these accusations had proved to be baseless after the US had sent its inspection teams to the Somali regional waters and conducted daily aerial and land surveillance, and found no evidence whatsoever. He reiterated his call for intervention of foreign peace-keeping forces to help disarm militias and warring factions.

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