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Somalia discusses its future at landmark Istanbul meet

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed (L), Turkish PM Erdoğan (C), their spouses, officials and aid workers pose for cameras during a milestone mission to Somalia. AA photo

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ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News - Somali leaders and civil society bodies, high- ranking representatives of the international community and the members of the Turkish government are set to discuss the future goals of a recovering nation

The Istanbul Conference on Somalia, under the theme “Preparing Somalia’s Future: Goals for 2015,” opens today with the participation of heads of state and representatives from more than 50 countries, and international organizations in cooperation with the United Nations. The conference will end on June 1.

The U.N. Secretary General, the African Union Commission chairperson, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other representatives of international and regional organizations are expected to attend the conference.

Other participants are: the TFG leadership, states, regions, and representatives from all segments of Somali society, including the youth, women, the business community, elders, religious leaders and the Diaspora. The opening speech will be delivered by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon.

Raising hopes
The Istanbul conference is organized on the eve of rising opportunities of ending political, security, humanitarian instabilities and disputes that have continued for 21 years in Somalia.

Representatives from all section of Somali society convened and discussed the future of the country and the steps to be taken in the future ahead of the Istanbul Conference.

Turkey - a country which played a leading role in bringing up the issue of the humanitarian disaster that resulted from drought and famine in the summer of 2011 to the agenda of the international community - is also seeking to help political and civil society leaders reach out to the international community through the Istanbul conference. On the first day of the conference there will be four Partnership Forums on Energy, Water, Roads and Resilience, with the participation of experts, businessman and bureaucrats. The aim is to project the conclusions drawn in the forums to the conference communiqué.

Opening speeches will be delivered by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Somali Prime Minister Somali Abdiweli Muhammed Ali. On the second day of the conference, with the participation of high ranking officials, participants will discuss the extra steps to be taken for ending the transition period in August 2012 and the medium to long term strategies after the transition period as well.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed are scheduled to make a joint press conference.


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