Gather in Mogadishu to help Somalia: Davutoğlu

Gather in Mogadishu to help Somalia: Davutoğlu

Gather in Mogadishu to help Somalia: Davutoğlu Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called yesterday on the international community to organize the next aid conference on Somalia in the capital of the war-torn country as representatives gathered in London to help end more than 20 years of conflict.

“Not in London, New York or Istanbul – the Somalia conferences should be held in Mogadishu,” Davutoğlu said. The foreign minister was applauded by participants of the meeting when he repeated the Somali capital, Mogadishu, three times in his speech.

London hosted the first Somalia conference in February 2012. A second conference was held in Istanbul four months later.

“As Turkey, we emphasize that the priorities should be political reconciliation, the rebuilding of the Somali security forces, economic progress and the construction of infrastructure,” Davutoğlu said. “Turkey has allocated $10 million to use for this goal.”

Opening the conference, British Prime Minister David Cameron praised improvements in Somalia’s security in recent months but warned that huge challenges remained in preventing it from sliding back into “abject lawlessness.”

“These challenges are not just issues for Somalia. They matter to Britain – and to the whole international community. Why? Because when young minds are poisoned by radicalism and they go on to export terrorism and extremism, the security of the whole world is at stake,” Cameron said.

Somalia has been battered by conflict since 1991, but a new U.N.-backed government took power in September, ending more than a decade of transitional rule.

Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants were driven out of Mogadishu by African troops in August 2011, but the Islamists have carried out a series of brutal attacks in recent months.

Compiled from AA and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.