Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino met today in Rome with President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
“The resolution of the Somali crisis is an essential factor in global security because of its location along a belt of intense instability stretching from the coasts of the Arabian peninsula to the Atlantic Ocean that is a breeding ground for crime, terrorism and migration toward the Mediterranean”. Minister Bonino explained the national interests underlying Italy’s strong commitment to the institution of an efficient and inclusive Federal State in Somalia.
Expressing her appreciation to President Sheikh Mohamud regarding the progress achieved since the approval in 2012 of an interim constitution, the minister also voiced her conviction that the solution to the Somali crisis could not be considered outside a regional framework. “A framework”, Bonino asserted, “that could be defined by IGAD” and sustained by the United Nations, the EU, the African Union and individual doors. “One thing is certain”, she continued, “the new Somali State will be different than that of the past, and it is our belief that it must be founded on the balanced distribution of power and authority between Federal State and local administrations”.
Minister Bonino then offered President Sheikh Hassan her assessment of the EU Conference on Somalia held in Brussels on 16 September, and the goals that Italy had set for itself in joining Ethiopia in convening a ministerial meeting of the IGAD Partners Forum in New York on 26 September in the margins of the UN General Assembly.
The very clear message was that Italy considers Somalia a priority and strategic partner, and is committed to using all international forums to find a solution to the Somali question.