By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov hailed the progress made towards achieving reconciliation among Somalis, stability, security, economic growth and prosperity, and equitable representation for all women, men and the youth in Somalia since the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
“Azerbaijan shows its full solidarity with Somalia focused on peace and state-building process as well as the stabilization of the country,” Mammadyarov said at the Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Contact Group on Somalia held in Doha, Qatar on November 3.
“We convey our full support for the Federal Government of Somalia. We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism and violent extremism perpetrated by the remnant of the Al-Shabaab militants called on the militants to heed reason and abandon violence by joining the peace-building and reconciliation process,” he added.
Mammadyarov believes that as a fragile state, Somalia remains in dire need of massive help in all areas, notably, capacity building, state and institution building, employment creation, poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, national reconciliation, countering violent extremism and terrorism which still poses a grave danger to the country and the region. For Somalia to achieve a future of security, governance and governing institution have to remain focused and united and avoid unnecessary distractions, he noted.
“I would like to express our support to the Federal Government of Somalia in its efforts to overcome difficulties, to achieve reconciliation and to build a secure, stable, united, democratic and prosperous nation,” he said.
Mammadyarov also hailed commended efforts of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its Member States in contributing to achieving peace and national reconciliation in Somalia and mobilizing assistance for the urgent needs of peoples affected by the humanitarian crisis in this country.
The minister expressed concern over the humanitarian situation that continues to deteriorate in Somalia.
“Climate change is leading to frequent droughts in Somalia forcing people to leave their homes almost every two years. Azerbaijan responded to the appeals of the respective governments and international organizations to provide urgent aid aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia – the worst-affected country in the region,” he emphasized.
Mammadyarov further informed that the Eurasian Regional Centre of ICYF, OIC affiliated institution hosted in the capital of Azerbaijan in 2012 conducted a charity campaign which resulted in providing one-month food security for victims of the Somalian drought with the support of Azerbaijani Government.
He went on to say that Azerbaijan’s ADA University also provides fully covered scholarship education for young Somali professionals in the fields important for strengthening state-building.
“It is important that the international community continues supporting Somalia. At the same time, all parties must allow unimpeded humanitarian access and refrain from actions which threaten the safety of the local population and those assisting them. There is also a need to redouble efforts to find long-term solutions for refugees and internally displaced people in Somalia. Azerbaijan is ready to continue its support to those in need in Somalia and other countries of the region,” the minister added.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani chaired the event attended by OIC Undersecretary for Political Affairs Yousef al-Dobeay and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of the Federal Republic of Somalia Ahmed Isse Awad along with representatives of various member states of OIC.
The meeting laid stress on the need to continue the support to Somalia to overcome the present challenges and extend necessary assistance to its development plans to be implemented.
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