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Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on Somaliland. [111738]

UK policy on Somalia and Somaliland has two objectives:

to see peace and stability established throughout Somalia. We have encouraged the National Reconciliation Process initiated by the regional organisation the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and we welcomed the Declaration on cessation of hostilities signed on 27 October 2002.
for Somaliland, which is not taking part in the Conference, to reach a political settlement with the rest of the country. This can only happen at a later stage in the reconciliation process. It will be for the people of Somaliland to decide for themselves if they are ready to engage in talks with the rest of Somalia.
We provided over £150,000 to the electoral process in Somaliland to encourage local democracy and the development of a viable and legitimate administration. We are also considering how we might increase our development assistance.