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Somalia speaker arrives in Mogadishu for talks with Islamists


Delegates led by Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden, the speaker of the transitional federal parliament have on Sunday arrived at Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia for talks with leaders of Islamic Courts in an attempt to end the difference between Islamists and interim government.

He is the first government top official to visit Mogadishu since the Islamic Courts took control of the capital in early June.

A plane carrying Sharif Hassan and at about 40 members of the parliament, which flew from Nairobi, has landed today at the main airport of Mogadishu capital 11:00 am local time where they have received a warm welcome from Islamic officials.

His visit to Mogadishu came hours after pro-Islamic Courts fighters on the suburbs of Baidoa claimed they have blown up an Ethiopian battlewagon, killing two Ethiopian soldiers

Among the Islamists who welcomed the government delegates was Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, the leader of Shura council.

Reports say during his visit in Mogadishu the speaker will meet with Islamist top officials in an effort to ease the tension and resolve the conflict.

“I came to Mogadishu to bring peace between Islamists and government in Baidoa,” Sharif Hassan said while talking to reporters in Amira Hotel in Mogadishu. “we are devoted to resolve the difference and reach sustainable agreement, I believe Somalis can reconcile among themselves,”

he admitted that Ethiopian troops are in Baidoa but he said they will leave if both rival sides reach an agreement demanding the Islamic Courts to make his dream of peace real and accept the peace initiative.

During his press conference, Sharif Hassan has briefed about the reasons he had been suspended to lead the government delegates to Khartoum for talks.

“The top key players of the Baidoa government knew if I attended the meeting in Sudan I would definitely bring peace so they took the option to get me out of the negotiation table,”

Earlier, the Islamic Courts indicated that they were ready for entering talks with government officials in the capital.

The arrival of the speaker came after the third peace talks between government and Islamists in Khartoum, Sudan failed for pre-conditions set by Islamist delegates and also the government envoy insisted on that IGAD should stay in its role in the peace process.

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