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Somalia

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions her Department has had with representatives of Somalia’s transitional Government; and if she will make a statement. (101977)

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, met the Foreign Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, His Excellency Ismail Mahmoud Hurre, on 1 November following extensive meetings during the United Nations General Assembly in September. Officials from our High Commission in Nairobi also meet representatives of Somalia’s Transitional Federal institutions regularly.

We urge all parties in Somalia to respect the Transitional Federal Charter, honour the agreements concluded in Khartoum and to resolve their differences through dialogue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of reports that fighters from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Eritrea have entered Somalia in support of the Union of Islamic Courts; and if she will make a statement. (101978)

The report of the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia alleges that foreign fighters have entered Somalia in answer to calls for jihad that have been uttered by members of the Union of Islamic Courts. We have no reliable assessment of the numbers involved. We continue to urge all parties in Somalia to renounce violence and resolve their differences through dialogue.