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Istanbul Conference on Somalia – “International aid no lasting solution” – Turkish Deputy PM

Friday, June 1, 2012

Deputy PM calls for new UN mission in Somalia

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Thursday international aid alone cannot eliminate problems in Somalia.

“It is obvious that lasting peace and stability in Somalia hinges on the improvement of Somali government’s abilities to provide and grant uninterrupted access to basic public services all over the country,” Bozdag told the second edition of the Istanbul Somalia Conference on “Preparing a Future for Somalia: Targets for 2015.”

Bozdag said the Istanbul conference would feature working groups on “energy, water, highways and resilience,” with an eye to devise ways to find solutions to Somalia’s problems in the country’s infrastructure as well as capacity build up to tackle drought and other future environmental disasters.

“It is high time for the international community to review their activities in Somalia. We have to make sure that death, famine and drought are left behind as painful memories of the past. It is time to look to future,” Bozdag said.

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Deputy PM calls for new UN mission in Somalia

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Bozdag urged the United Nations to establish a new mission in Somalia.

“It is high time to bring about a new and stronger United Nations mission in Somalia. And for starters, the UN can initiate immediately a strategic review of its activities in the country,” Bozgad told the second edition of the Istanbul Conference on Somalia on “Preparing a Future for Somalia: Targets for 2015.”

Bozdag said a comprehensive strategy was needed to help Somalia to increase capacity for resilience that included multi-sector investments in development, infrastructure projects, political reconciliation and boosted security.

“Turkey’s policy toward Somalia incorporates these dimensions and it argues for a simultaneous handling and solution of all problematic aspects. Only such a multi-dimensional strategy can produce lasting solutions in Somalia,” Bozdag said.

Bozdag said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Somalia last year raised a fresh international awareness, adding that the opening of Turkish embassy in Mogadishu and direct flights by the Turkish Airlines to the Somali capital had made major contribution to help the country “integrate with the international community.”

Bozdag said achieving security, political stability and unity through dialogue and reconciliation as well as food security, economic development, end of piracy, and providing health and education services constituted the biggest challenges Somalia faced, which he said could only be solved by effective and strong state mechanisms.

“Somali people and the Somali diaspora should be able to produce solutions on their own in line with their culture, history and their facts,” Bozdag added.

“And all the members of the international community have an obligation to keep light of hope alive in Somalia which was kindled for the first time in 20 years,” he said.

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ISTANBUL

31 May 2012 12:39 (Last updated 31 May 2012 13:53)

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Anatolia News Agency

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