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Foreign minister makes first visit to Somalia by top Italian official in decades

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ROME - Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi has made the first visit to Somalia by a top Italian official in decades, expressing Rome's commitment to support the security of its former colony and the fight against piracy.

The Foreign Ministry said the whirlwind visit Tuesday included meetings with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon. For security reasons, it was only announced once Terzi was returning to Italy.

Not since 1992 had an Italian foreign minister visited Mogadishu. Premier Bettino Craxi made a state visit to Somalia in 1985, one of the few by a Western leader in that era.

Terzi's visit was a sign of improved security since African Union troops have been making inroads against Islamic militants, forcing them out of the capital and other urban areas.


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