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Somalia Leader Envisages "New Common Future" In Horn


Somalia President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, on a goodwill visit to Ethiopia, has informed Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of his government's desire to work with Ethiopia "for a new common future" in the horn of Africa, according to the foreign minister of Somalia, Ismail Mahmoud Hurre.

He said the lengthy talks the visiting Somali delegation had with Meles and Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin covered wide-ranging issues, including security.

"There was a clear understanding on both sides on the basic issues raised," he told journalists Thursday night. Hurre said that during the delegation's meeting earlier in the day with Seyoum, "very useful exchanges of views were made on issues that needed clarification."

He declined to say what these were. He stated, however, that the emphasis of the talks was "on the common destinies of the two countries."

He said a communique on the talks would be issued Friday after the foreign ministers of the two countries consider a number of issues on which understanding had to be reached.

Asked if this concerned the Muslim fundamentalist Al-Ithihad, which Ethiopia had in the past repeatedly said to be operating from Somalia to destabilise the Somali region of Ethiopia, Hurre said the problem of fundamentalism "was more of a threat to the government of Somalia than to Ethiopia."

Ethiopian security forces have in the past entered Somalia to pursue Al- Ithihad armed groups raiding its territory in the the vast Ogaden area.

Hassan and his party arrived in Addis Ababa Wednesday night and are expected to leave Saturday for Yemen.

The Somalia leader will be in Khartoum next week for the summit of the Inter- Governmental Authority on Development beginning 23 November.


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