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Egypt Ready to Help Somali Reconstruction

Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa on Monday expressed his country's readiness to contribute to the reconstruction of Somalia.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Somali President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan, Moussa said that Egyptian and Somali teams will soon discuss what Somalia needs and how Egypt could meet its demand.

Salad was in Cairo to take part in the 114th session of the Arab League Foreign Ministers Council on Sunday and Monday during his first foreign tour after he was elected on August 25 by a transitional parliament.

In a speech Sunday to the council meeting, Salad called on the other Arab countries to help Somalia in its reconstruction drive since the country has now a parliament and a president, the first since 1991 when former president Mohammed Siad Barre was toppled.

Moussa said he expressed Egypt's support for Salad's election and discussed with the president the future of the Egyptian-Somali relations.

"We are happy that Somalia has now a leader, a (would-be) government and a system," he said, terming the two countries' relations as deeply rooted.

Commenting on the declared opposition of Somali warlords to Salad, Moussa said Somalia has now a president and Egypt will develop the relations with him. In the meantime, he did not rule out the possibility that Egypt may work to persuade the warlords to cooperate with the president in a bid to help guarantee that the situation in Somalia will not regress.

Somalia fell into civil strifes, lacking a central government during the past decade. After the election of Salad, the powerful warlords said they would not bow to his administration and demanded that the international community not to recognize him.


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