May 27, 2012 ·19 Comments
ADDIS ABABA — The two presidents of Somalia’s two semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Galmudug State, Abdirahman M. Farole and Mohamed A. Alin respectively, have ruled out their participation in an international conference in Istanbul scheduled for this week.
The two leaders, who strongly support a federal Somalia, said Turkey’s role in the peace process was politically motivated and that its policy was unduly beholden to certain groups. They accused the Turkish conference of endorsing the foreign policy “of some countries” rather than a Somali consultation.
They stated that the agenda of the Istanbul II meeting was still blurry in a joint press statement they issued on Sunday from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
They also argued that the conference would undermine the recent Addis Ababa Communiqué and cripple other previous agreements. They claimed it would restart the talks from square one.
“Puntland and Galmudug withdraw participation at the Istanbul Conference Il on Somalia, as the conference is not a Somali-owned process, the purpose and agenda of the conference is ambiguous,” the statement said.
Themed “Preparing Somalia’s Future: Goals for 2015″, the conference, second of its kind in Turkey, will officially be inaugurated on Thursday 31, May and will go for two days.
It will be participated by officials including heads of state, prime ministers and ministers from as many as 54 countries as well as representatives of international and regional organizations including the UN, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the AU.
Somaliland on Sunday announced that it was sending four ministers to the Turkish city to take part. The transitional government, which is to be replaced by August, is also expected to attend.
Puntland region and Galmudug State are located in central and north-eastern part of Somalia and are said to be the only two sub-states advocating for federal rule.
Turkey is said to be trying to counter regional and international influence in the strategic horn of African nation.
May 27, 2012
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