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UN Special Representative pleased about Somali reconciliation talks
Nairobi, 08 May 2008 - The UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has expressed optimism ahead of talks between the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia due to open in Djibouti on May 10 2008.
Mr Ould-Abdallah said he was happy for Somalia as ‘this is the first time that the Somali parties have agreed to meet with limited number of delegates, on a scheduled date within a specified time frame and at a planned venue.’
He added: ‘This is a clear indication that Somalis are willing to respect their commitments when they believe in what they are doing.’
The SRSG said he was certain that all sides would work seriously and conscientiously towards making the meeting a success for Somalia as a whole.
‘Making peace is more difficult than making war,’ he said. ‘You make peace primarily with your adversaries, not with your friends.
Mr Ould-Abdallah expressed his belief that all Somalis, including those in the Diaspora, wanted to work towards peace and security for Somalia.
‘We should allow them to meet without outside interference and come to an understanding,’ he said.
The meeting, which will be attended by seven delegates from each party, is expected to help advance the agenda for peace and will then be enlarged by a further fifteen participants from each side.
‘The overall objective of this meeting is to prepare the ground for a peaceful and brotherly relationship between Somalis and to initiate the first step towards real stability, true peace and sincere reconciliation based on forgiveness,’ said Mr Ould-Abdallah.
The SRSG added that progress in these areas should pave the way for concrete United Nations’ assistance for durable stability in Somalia.
He thanked the Djibouti Government for its support for the preparation and convening of the meeting and for its generous hospitality.
For more information please contact: Susannah Price, Public Information Officer, UN Political Office for Somalia ( Nairobi, Kenya) Tel. +254 20 762 1192 (o) or +254 733 902020 (m).