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Factions want new parliament enlarged to include their members

 

Somali factions opposed to the new government headed by Abdiqasim Salad Hasan want the new 245-seat interim parliament set up in neighbouring Djibouti enlarged to include their members.

In an interview with Djibouti Radio and Television, RTD, President Abdiqasim Salad Hasan rejected the proposal and said it was up to parliament to decide this.

The following are excerpts of the interview published by the Somali newspaper 'Ayaamaha' on 6th December [Newspaper intro] The president of the republic of Somalia, Abdiqasim Salad Hasan, yesterday before his departure [for Mogadishu] gave an interview to RTD. This is how the interview went:

[RTD reporter] How was your visit to some of the states in the world?

[Abdiqasim] The visit was blessed and ended in an atmosphere of understanding. On the diplomatic front, it resolved the issue of international recognition [of the new Somali government]. Agreements were also reached to improve bilateral relations.[passage omitted: On Islamic Conference in Qatar and pledge by Islamic states to support Somalia's reconstruction] Ties with Ethiopia

[Q] Could you give us more details about your visit to Ethiopia?

[A] Ethiopia is one of those countries that have an interest in the affairs of Somalia and was one of the first countries that supported the Arta conference. In fact, its prime minister attended it. However, some people who are bent on misleading gave them the wrong impression. My discussions with them [Ethiopians] was frank and we reached an agreement to establish a relationship based on mutual cooperation. We will also send a delegation to them soon. [passage omitted: visit to Yemen, issue of Somalis entering Yemen illegally, refugees immigrants] Factions want parliament enlarged

[Q] There were some Somali faction leaders in Yemen recently, did you meet them?

[A] The Yemeni leader is working to reconcile the Somali people. And although I did not meet the faction leaders personally, I know they proposed that the parliament, which now has 245 MPs, should be expanded. I told them that this was a matter beyond me and only the parliament could decide that. I suggested to incorporate them into the government and integrate their militias [presumably into the proposed national army], but they refused to accept all these suggestions. We will however continue our contacts with them. [passage omitted: On regional body IGAD summit in Khartoum] Outcome of visit to Libya

[Q] You also visited Libya, what did you discuss with the Libyan leader?

[A] We discussed many issues with the Libyan government, especially how to reconstruct Somalia. The Libyan government promised to help improve Somalia's telecommunication and media infrastructure. They promised to revive the national TV. They also agreed to buy Somali livestock. Also while I was Libya, I help seperate talks with the Italian and the Libyan governments and we reached an agreement to convene a three-way meeting. Leaders of Somaliland, Puntland refused to go to Libya

[Q] Did you meet the Somali faction leaders in Libya?

[A] The Libyan leader has been making efforts to try and bring us and those faction opposed to us together. Indeed, the Libyan leader has worked tirelessly in this regard. He sent special aircraft to fetch [Somaliland president Ibrahim] Egal and [Puntland president] Abdullahi Yusuf, but unfortunately they refused. However, I managed to met [Hasan Nur] Shatigadud [leader of the Rahanwein Resistance Army] in Tripoli. Despite the fact that this meeting was not face-to-face, yet we were able to communicate like people in a conversation.

 





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