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Somalia PM On Visit To Puntland Regions
BOSSASO, Somalia, 10 April, 2007 - Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi led a large federal delegation to the Puntland regions in northern Somalia on Tuesday.
Premier Gedi was joined by several of his Cabinet ministers and the Somali national police commander, Gen. Ali Madobe.
Security was tight in and around Mogadishu International Airport as the Prime Minister’s delegation prepared to fly. Witnesses saw hundreds of Somali and Ugandan troops securing the airport from all corners.
Before departing from Mogadishu, Premier Gedi told reporters that his trip to Puntland is intended to strengthen relations between the regional administration and Gedi’s transitional federal government.
The Somali Premier said his government plans to implement several development initiatives in Puntland, which he praised as the most stable part of Somalia.
Prime Minister Gedi and his delegation were warmly received at the Bender Qassim International Airport in Bossaso, Puntland’s commercial hub.
Gen. Mohamud "Adde" Muse, the Puntland president, was at the airport along with hundreds of residents, including students’ and women’s groups.
The federal delegation was promptly ushered away to International Village Hotel before speaking to local press.
Sources in Bossaso told Garowe Online that Gedi planned to discuss many issues with the Puntland leadership, including agreements Puntland signed with foreign companies.
Since 2005, the Adde Muse administration has pursued a policy of exploring the region’s rumored natural resources wealth without legal authority from Gedi’s federal government.
Other sources said Gedi would discuss with Puntland leaders tax issues, as well as a recent agreement Puntland signed with a Saudi Arabia-based company that would buy livestock directly from the region.
Gedi’s trip to Puntland comes a day after Puntland security forces clashed with Somaliland troops in disputed Sanaag region.
Source: Garowe Online News