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Somaliland Urges Arabs To Accept Its Passport
HARGEISA, 25 Sept. 2007 - Somaliland Foreign Minister Abdillahi Duale urged Arab states to accept Somaliland passport in their countries, saying that Somaliland passport is considered a legitimate travel document in most parts of the world except in Arab countries.
Talking to Awdalnews from Hargeysa, Duale said that citizens holding Somaliland passports had traveled to China, South East Asian, North America and mainland Europe without any problem.
“It is only the Arabs who refuse the Somaliland passport. We call upon them to recognize the Somaliland passport otherwise we will consider their action as hostile to us,” he said. He urged Somaliland citizens around the world not to take the new passport being issued by the Somali Transitional Federal Government, TFG.
“We will not allow Somalilanders holding new Somali passports to enter the country,” he said, although he asserted that his government would review the situation of Somalilanders living in the Arab world who cannot travel with Somaliland passports.
He noted that his government would raise the passport issue with an Arab League delegation that is expected to visit Somaliland in the near future.
“A fact finding mission from the Arab league will soon arrive the country and we hope it would turn a new leaf for Somaliland-Arab relations,” Duale said.
He pointed out that Somaliland had strengthened ties with a number of African countries as a result of a vigorous foreign policy. A delegation from Southern Sudan is soon expected to visit Hargeysa.
Meanwhile, Duale affirmed that Somalilanders all over the world would be able to listen their country’s home news through Radio Hargeysa.
“The long awaited transmitter (25 Kw shortwave) will be installed shortly all Somali speaking people will be able to hear it from many places around the world,” he said.
On the jailed Qaran party leaders, Duale said the court had sentenced them and that they have the right to submit an appeal to the court.
“They never had it so good. They found unprecedented publicity by being in jail,” Duale said, asserting that it was up to them to appeal to the court or request a pardon from the President.
Duale denied that the President had reneged on his promises to the mediation committee, while accusing some of the Committee members of using the Committee to push their own agenda.
“There were elements in the Mediation Committee who had their biased agenda. Some of them were neither honest nor neutral about their mediation efforts,” he added, pointing out that it was the parliament that reneged on its pledges when it rejected to pass the two election commission members.
Duale expressed his support and endorsement for the President and his Vice President as candidates of the ruling UDUB party in the upcoming presidential elections due to be held early 2008.
He denied rumors about his aspirations for the Vice President’s candidacy, saying: “The sitting President and his Vice President are my candidates and they have my full support.”