Turkey always supported Somalia, Parliamentary Speaker Aden says

Turkey always supported Somalia, Parliamentary Speaker Aden says

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey always supported Somalia, Parliamentary Speaker Aden says

Somali Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden (L) and his Turkish counterpart Cemil Çiçek walk inside the Turkish Parliament in Ankara. AA photo

Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek met his Somali counterpart, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, in Ankara on May 29.

Underlining Turkey’s continuing support for Somalia, Çiçek said there were crucial tasks to be done, such as the establishment of a state after the transitional period. Çiçek said Turkey and Somalia were friendly and brotherly countries and they have sincere ties.

“Our wish is for a rapid restoration of peace and tranquility in the country. Turkey’s efforts are inclined toward this aim,” Çiçek said, adding that Turkey was working to ease the shortages of Somali society. “Somalia has suffered so much pain and is still suffering. They deserve peace and tranquility.”

Çiçek said he hoped Somalia would conclude this process successfully and rapidly. Çiçek said Somalia had many tasks to do, including the establishment of a constituent assembly, the writing of a new constitution, and the appointment of the prime minister and president. “These are crucial issues, and negotiation should take place in order to complete these. Thus, Turkey supports and seeks negotiation,” Çiçek said.

For his part, Aden thanked Turkey for its assistance to Somalia, and said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Somalia in 2011 was a milestone. “Mr. Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] showed world leaders that Somalia is a country they can visit at any time. The amount of aid Turkey sent us is so huge that many people in Somalia survived starvation thanks to Turkey,” Çiçek’s counterpart said.

Aden said he hoped the Istanbul conference would be helpful in getting Somalia through the transition period, and called for help from Turkey to establish solid ties with the country’s new Parliament. He also called for help in furnishing the Parliament and the training of the staff. He said they hoped for Turkey’s help in the fields of education and health outside the capital city of Mogadishu, where al-Shabaab militants have retreated. The visiting speaker also mentioned the need to train security forces and the necessity of re-constructing state institutions as well.

“Turkey stands beside us in our difficult days. The Somali people will never forget this,” Aden said.