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Chairperson attends 2nd Istanbul International Conference on Somalia

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 4, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Jean Ping, participated in the 2nd Istanbul International Conference on Somalia, which took place on 31 May and 01 June 2012, in Istanbul, Turkey, under the theme: "Preparing Somalia's Future Goals for 2015".

On the margins of the Conference, the Chairperson held a series of consultations with several participants, including the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mr. Ahmed Davutoglu and the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon.

Discussions at both meetings centred on the search for ways to achieve peace, stability and development in Somalia, as well as other topical issues on the continent.

During his meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister, the Chairperson underlined the crucial role played by Turkey in assisting the Somali People in the search for a lasting political settlement of the Somali crises and the reconstruction and development of the country. He described Turkey's role as an added value to the regional and international efforts to help Somalia to end more than two decades of civil war.

On his part, the Turkish Foreign Minister paid tribute to the efforts of the African Union through its peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and called on the international community to lend its full support to AMISOM and the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), at this critical juncture in the quest for peace and security in Somalia.

The Turkish Foreign Minister stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and consultations at all levels between Turkey and the AU on the Somali issue.

During his meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General, the Chairperson welcomed the adoption of UN Resolution 2036 (2012), which has increased the troops level of AMISOM to 17,770 and expanded the UN support package to the peacekeeping mission. Dr. Ping described Resolution 2036 as:

“An important milestone in efforts to create a conducive environment for the implementation of the Roadmap to end the transition and further a testimony of the commitment of the United Nations to help AMISOM. This Resolution is also an important step in the efforts by the AU and the UN to build an innovative and forward-looking partnership to meet the daunting challenges of peace and security in Africa.”

On his part, the Secretary-General paid tribute to the extraordinary sacrifices made in Somalia by the African Union, in particular AMISOM troop contributing countries, who have continuously braved grave danger, in an effort to bring peace and stability to Somalia.

The Secretary-General pointed out that international forces are not a long-term solution, therefore Somalia needs its own strong and trustworthy security and justice institutions to consolidate progress, secure borders and protect people.

The Chairperson and the Secretary-General also discussed other issues of mutual interest, including the recent developments between Sudan and South Sudan, as well as the situation in Guinea Bissau and Mali. They agreed to continue working closely together to achieve a resolution of these crises.