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Somaliland Launches New Diplomatic Offensive
HARGEYSA, Jan. 20, 2007- A Somaliland party and parliamentary delegation is expected to visit Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to open a new cooperation with these countries on a people-to-people level.
Faisal Ali Waraabe, President of Justice and Welfare Party, locally known as UCID, made these remarks during a telephone conversation with Awdalnews Network on Saturday 20th Jan.
“This is new diplomatic front, a n new phase of Somaliland’s campaign for explaining our case to friendly countries. Previously our contacts were limited to government-to-government but we have to raise them to the level of parliaments, parties and people,” he said, adding that the delegation has the government’s support as well.
Faisal said that the delegation was scheduled to leave for Addis Ababa on 27th January and later proceed to Nairobi and Kampala if all the arrangements went as expected.
Faisal will lead a three-member party delegation, while the Lower House Speaker Abdirahman Irro will head the parliamentary team consisting of chairmen of the House Sub-Committees.
Solid Ethio-Somaliland ties
Answering a question on Ethio-Somaliland relations in the light of the situation in Somalia, Faisal affirmed that the latest developments in Somalia had no impact whatsoever on the ties between the two countries.
“The recent successful visit of President Dahir Riyale to Addis Ababa and the meeting of a delegation of the three parties with the Ethiopian envoy in Hargeisa following last week’s demonstrations, have both reiterated the strong and growing relations between the two sides,” he said.
Faisal said that the massive demonstrations of the Somaliland people all over the country came a result of unified efforts of the government and the three political parties.
“This is a new era of cooperation between the political forces in the country. The circumstances surrounding us demand us to act collectively and responsibly,” he said, attributing the initiative of such new spirit of cooperation to UCID Party.
“It is UCID party that has broken the barrier and worked towards the improvement of the political atmosphere in the country,” he said.
On the continued detention of Haatuf journalists, Faisal said: “free press was not about personal attacks and targeting people on clan basis,’ noting that it was wrong to throw journalists in jail as any wrongdoing by the press should be dealt with according to the press law.
“Our press doesn’t abide by any press code or ethics, they commit many mistakes and there is a need to curtail them but according to the Press Law and resorting to courts,” he added.
Commenting on a press report that Somalia’s President Abdillahi Yusuf was thinking to let Somaliland be independent if they gave up the two disputed regions of Sool and Sanag, Faisal said: “ Somaliland is not ready to give up a single spot of its historical territory.”
Source: Awdalnews Network