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EU lays groundwork for Somalia conference

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

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BRUSSELS, (UPI) -- The international community needs to come together to make good on commitments to Somalia, the EU foreign policy chief said.

European leaders are preparing for a Sept. 16 conference on support for Somalia. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the conference in Brussels is an opportunity to capitalize on political gains made in Somalia.

"There is now a real atmosphere of activity, emerging governance and hope," she said in a statement Monday. "It is therefore more important than ever that the international community makes good on its promises of support for the Somali people."

The Council of the European Union said Monday political progress in Somalia "remains the key to ensuring long-term stability."

Somalia last year formed its first formal central government since the 1990s. It struggles to exert its authority beyond Mogadishu and has come under recent threat from separatist ambitions in coastal regions.

The European Union said it welcomed Somalia's committee to good governance and transparency. It said, however, it remains concerned by reports of corruption and financial mismanagement.

Source: UPI

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