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30.01.2013 Somalia

Remarks by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy after his meeting with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud

By European Council
Remarks by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy after his meeting with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh MohamoudRemarks by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy after his meeting with President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, January 30, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Remarks by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy

It was my pleasure to welcome the President of Somalia today, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.

This was President Hassan Sheikh's first visit to Europe; a sign of the important relations between Somalia and the EU. We will seek to promote these relations further, as Somalia is on its path to transforming and taking its rightful place in the community of nations.

I commended the President's efforts to give the people of Somalia ownership of their government, of their policies and of their country's future. I expressed the EU's strong support, but also the great responsibility such ownership carries with it. The EU has been and will be providing significant support to Somalia. Through its comprehensive approach it can bring to bear political, security and development measures.

The EU Special Representative Alex Rondos for the Horn of Africa is a focal point in bringing together EU action in the region as a whole. The EU has also appointed its first

Ambassador to Somalia, EU Special Envoy Michele Cervone d'Urso in order to recognise the progress made with the end of the transitional period last September.

In the area of security, the EU Training Mission EUTM contributes to the development of the Somali security sector through military training to the Somalia National Armed Forces since 2010. It also supports the training of Somali Police Forces through the UN. Another

EU mission supports land-based coastal police forces and judiciary capacity in Somalia, Djibouti, the Seychelles and Kenya. Operation ATALANTA contributes to the deterrence, prevention and suppression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast and protects vulnerable shipping, for example of the World Food programme.

In the period of 2008 – 2013 development support of around 517 million euros focuses on governance, security and the rule of law, education and economic activities.

The President and I discussed the progress made over the past months and the challenges ahead to re-build the country: economic recovery after twenty years' conflict, reconciliation, reaching out to all regions, clans and social groups. We also discussed the benefits a government should be able to provide to its people: social services, a sense of security and freedoms. I therefore underlined the importance the EU attaches to accountable government and respect for human rights. They would help heal the nation and would prove to Somalis that their country truly has embarked on a new, better path.

I also stressed the value the EU attaches to Somalia living at peace with its neighbours and of actively engaging in a framework of regional cooperation, particularly through the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD). I assured the President that the

EU will stand by Somalia in its endeavour for a better future.

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