British Minister Restate London’s Commitment to a Peaceful Somalia

Posted February 6th, 2012 at 4:00 pm (UTC-5)
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A senior British diplomat has reiterated Britain's commitment to Somalia's transitional government and to bringing an end to the African country's decades of instability.

Henry Bellingham, the British Minister for African Affairs, told VOA's Somali Service the time is right for the international community to join in the effort to bring peace and stability to the Horn of Africa country. The interview with the service was conducted Monday as preparations take place for an international conference on Somalia, being held in London February 23.

The conference is bringing together representatives of some 40 nations and international organizations. It will focus on the establishment of a permanent Somali government after the transitional period ends in August.

The minister, in the interview, ruled out the possibility of British military intervention in Somalia. He spoke of the “significant progress” made by the transitional government which now controls nearly all of Mogadishu, the capital.

Underscoring Britain's commitment to Somalia, Foreign Minister William Hague visited Somalia last week, as London announced it is sending an ambassador to Mogadishu for the first time in more than two decades.