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Somali president prioritises institution building in speech at European parliament

Friday, February 01, 2013

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Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud outlined his government's development plan during an appearance in the European Parliament on Thursday (January 31st), pledging to focus on building state institutions and requesting European Union support, the BBC reported.

Mohamud said he hopes to build "one school, one health centre, one water well, one police station, and one district administration" in every part of Somalia, adding that his government is the first one in decades to have a proper plan for development.

The president delivered his address to a joint meeting of the European Foreign Affairs and Development Committees, after which he met with European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who congratulated the new president on the improvements to Somalia's security since his election in September.

"I would like to congratulate you for undertaking the first, important steps in the very difficult task of state-building, bringing peace and improving the daily life of the Somali people," Schulz said, according to a European Parliament press release. "The stability of Africa is also the stability of Europe."

Mohamud thanked the European for helping to bring about a smooth end to Somalia's transitional period. "Now we have a better government and parliament, trying to do their best, but we are here because of European help," he said. "We are grateful for our traditional partner, and would like to request further support, especially of the European Parliament, to make our legislative organ strong and capable."

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