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Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the progress of the Union of Islamic Courts in Somalia; and if she will make a statement on UK policy towards Somalia. (77943)

The victory of the Islamic Courts Union over the warlords in Mogadishu and other towns in Central Somalia is an important development. The UK continues to support the Transitional Federal Institutions in pursuing dialogue, reconciliation and stable governance in Somalia in accordance with the Transitional Federal Charter. We will continue to provide assistance to Somalia within this framework. We urge all states in the region to respect the UN arms embargo on Somalia and refrain from supplying armaments, which exacerbate conflict there. We encourage the Transitional Federal government to engage with the Islamic Courts Union and welcome the fact that both sides have made conciliatory statements.