First Direct Somalia-Somaliland Talks End in London

Posted June 21st, 2012 at 4:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Two days of the first-ever formal talks between Somalia and the breakaway region of Somaliland ended near London Thursday.

Both sides agreed that the talks should continue.

Somali Interior Minister Abdisamad Moalim Mohamud told VOA that both sides agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism, piracy, illegal fishing, and dumping toxic wastes. He said they also agreed to avoid anything that will undermine the talks.

In his comments to VOA, Somaliland Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdillahi Omar said the two days of meetings were constructive. He said they created the framework for future talks on issues that matter to both sides.

Britain and the European Union organized the meetings as part of their efforts to help Somalia fight terrorism. Somalia is struggling to form a stable government while it fights off efforts from al-Shabab militants to turn Somalia into a conservative Islamic state.

Somaliland broke away from Somalia when the last firm Somali government fell in 1991. But no country or world body recognizes an independent Somaliland.