May 31, 2012

Somaliland: Participating in Istanbul Conference

Building upon the London Conference, a Somaliland delegation has been invited by the Turkish government to feed into discussions between regional states as part of the conference on “Preparing Somalia’s Future: Goals for 2015”.

Below is an article published by Somaliland sun:

A four member delegation is on the way to turkey to attend the "Istanbul II" international conference on Somalia

The delegation which will represent Somaliland in the Istanbul conference whose theme is "Preparing Somalia's Future: Goals for 2015" is composed of four cabinet ministers namely: Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Duale – Minister of foreign Affairs, Hon Ahmed Abdi Habsade – Minister of public works & Housing Hon Hussein Abdi Duale- Minister of Energy, Minerals & Water and Dr Saad Ali Shire- Minister of Planning.

The foreign minister who is leading the delegation said that the participation of Somaliland in the conference on Somalia comes after an official invitation from the Turkish government. He informed that the country accepted the second invitation after the conference hosts, acceded to Somaliland's demand for protocols similar to the ones employed during the London conference on Somalia.

Said he, "We shall participate in the Istanbul conference as a Sovereign nation, just as we did in London during the February [2012]conference on Somalia"

Dr Mohamed Abdilahi thanked the Turkish government for acceding to Somaliland's demand that its participation will only be possible if etiquettes employed are similar to the ones at the London conference.

The foreign minister who revealed that the high powered delegation will also hold conference side-line bi-lateral talks with the Turkish government, stressed on the fact that Somaliland will only participate in the first phase of the conference which will be held on 31st May 2012.

As per the conference agenda released by the government in Ankara, the opening day of the conference will dwell on Development and economy and more specifically on the four issues of Energy, Water, and Roads & Resilience that concern both Somaliland and Somalia.

Dr Mohamed who briefed the press on behalf of his fellow delegates said that they will not attend the second phase of conference which will dwell on issues specific to Somalia, Said he, "We shall not participate in 2 day of the conference as the agenda is fully on the Road Map for Somalia, an issue that does not concern Somaliland"

On the imminent talks with the Turkish government the foreign minister said that the agenda will revolve on two very important issues that pertain to:

• The management of proposed direct Turkey development support to the country &

• Turkish support for the international recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign country.

Dr Mohamed Abdilahi also revealed that though Somaliland attend an Inter-Governmental Authority on Development- IGAD recently, on official invitation, full membership to the regional body is yet to be attained, Said he, "Our application for full membership is receiving high level consideration and we are optimistic that results will be positive"

The foreign minister said that during the IGAD meeting in Addis Ababa recently Somaliland requested honorary membership while full membership is under deliberations, "Of which we were promised immediate response" He said