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Somaliland For The First Time Participated In The IGAD Partners Forum Meeting In Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (SL Times) – The IGAD Partners Forum has held a one day meeting in Addis Ababa, hosted by Italy which currently holds the chair of the Forum. The meeting, attended by all IGAD donors, was co-chaired by Italy and by Ethiopia which is the chair of IGAD. Discussions revolved around current developments in the Horn of Africa in the light of the recently conducted referendum in South Sudan and the prospects for a peaceful completion of the transitional period for the Somali government due to end in August. The occasion of the meeting underlined the greater cooperation now existing between the Partners Forum and IGAD. This has also created an effective and interactive dialogue among those who are concerned with the peace and security of the region.

Unusually, the Forum was given an extensive briefing by the Foreign Minister of Somaliland, Dr. Mohammad A. Omar who had been on a visit to Addis Ababa. Somaliland held another round of successful multi-party elections in the middle of last year. Dr. Omar gave a detailed analysis of current developments in the region and the exemplary achievements of Somaliland in terms of establishing democratic governance, noting the peaceful transition of power that Somaliland had achieved after its free, fair and creditable elections. On the economic front Dr. Omar explained the progress that the Somaliland authorities were achieving in terms of attracting members of the Somaliland Diaspora to invest in Somaliland, in assisting in the transfer of technological know-how and in contributing to peace and stability in Somaliland.

Ethiopia, as the chair of IGAD, briefed the meeting on the latest developments in the region. It welcomed the peaceful conclusion of the referendum in the Sudan and commended the efforts of the IGAD Partners Forum, the African Union and the United Nations in the Sudan. Ethiopia reiterated its own commitment and that of IGAD towards assisting the Transitional Federal Government in its efforts to establish peace and stability in Somalia. It stressed the need to help the people and government of Somalia to reconstitute peace and stability as well as development in the country.

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