Somaliland Confirms Boycott of Somalia Conference in UK

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Office of the President

By: Georgina Mallory

WASHINGTON DC (Somalilandsun) – The President of Somaliland has today confirmed that the Government of Somaliland will not be participating in the Somalia Conference in London on 7th May, co-chaired by UK Government and the Government of Somalia.

President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo reaffirmed his commitment to bilateral talks with the new Government of Somalia, but stated that he could not participate in a conference which does not acknowledge Somaliland’s unique status.

Speaking today, he said “We are deeply grateful for the efforts that the British Government has made to ensure Somaliland’s participation in the Somalia conference. The United Kingdom remains one of our closest allies and we continue to benefit from their generosity and support. However we cannot participate in a conference which does not acknowledge Somaliland’s unique status.

“Domestically we have worked hard to bring closure to historical divisions and foster support for dialogue with Somalia. We are progressing bilateral talks with the Government of Somalia on vital security issues that affect both our nations, from tackling piracy to fighting terrorism, as well as the joint promotion of development assistance. Somaliland plays a critical role in advancing the stability and development of our volatile region and we look forward to continuing dialogue with Somalia.”

Somaliland has been campaigning to achieve international recognition as an independent nation state since 1991. Somaliland maintains that recognition would not only bring major benefits to the people of Somaliland; it would directly serve the vital strategic interests of the international community and enhance stability and security in one of the world’s most unstable regions.

The Governments of the UK and Somalia will co-host an international conference on Somalia on 7 May in the UK. The stated aim of the conference is to provide international support for the Government of Somalia as they rebuild their country after two decades of conflict.

The Somaliland-Somalia Dialogue continues, with talks in Turkey on 13 April 2013 resulting in the Ankara Communique. The Communique, signed by led by President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo of Somaliland and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, pledged continuing cooperation between the two Governments, particularly in the security sector and the facilitation of international development assistance to Somaliland.

Somaliland has been campaigning to achieve international recognition as an independent nation state since 1991. Somaliland maintains that recognition would bring major benefits to the people of Somaliland, serve the vital strategic interests of the international community, and enhance security, economic development and democracy in one of the world’s most unstable regions. The Government is on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Somalilandgovt

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