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U.N. and E.U. laud appointment of new Somalia prime minister

Sunday, October 07, 2012

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Top United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) envoys for Somalia on Saturday congratulated Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid who was appointed as the prime minister for the Horn of Africa nation.

EU Special Envoy to Somalia, Michele Cervone d’Urso and Augustine P. Mahiga, the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia said in separate statements issued in Nairobi that the development will help foster reconciliation and good governance in the Horn of Africa nation.

Cervone d’Urso congratulated the new prime minister on his nomination by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and wish him every success.

She said the EU was ready to work with the PM and his new government, which was hoped be inclusive and representative of Somalia’s diversity.

While making the appointment Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said he appointed Saaid, a businessman who worked as a government economist in the 1980s in part because of his academic background.

"As I told the new Somali leadership last week, the EU will gear up its engagement with Somalia aiming at a true and balanced partnership with the new actors of change in the country," Cervone D’Urso said.

The new PM studied economic at Somalia National University in the 1970s. He served as an economist in the ministries of finance and agriculture in the 1980s.

Saaid who left Somalia in 1991 when the last fully functioning government collapsed when he relocated to Kenya is married to a Somalia member of parliament.

In his statement, Mahiga said Saaid’s nomination will now go to the Somali Federal Parliament for endorsement.

He said the PM will then proceed to form a cabinet, which will also need to be endorsed by the Legislature.

The UN envoy further commended President Hassan Sheikh "for leading a broad consultative process on the appointment of the Prime Minster within the constitutionally-stipulated time period."

He said the new authorities will play the central role in promoting the reconciliation and good governance necessary to achieve lasting peace and stability in Somalia.

He said the UN political office for Somalia will work closely with the Somali government to address the challenges ahead as set out in the six "pillar" priority areas envisioned by the President.

Saaid who is a new comer in the Horn of Africa politics is expected to form an all inclusive cabinet within the next few weeks in consultation with president and various other parties.

After the formation of the cabinet, Saaid will ask the Somali parliament conduct a vote of confidence on the ministerial lineup he presents to lawmakers.

Saaid has pledged to form an all inclusive cabinet, free of corruption and which will resolve all the past problems that have engulfed the Horn of Africa nation.


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