Somali leader visits autonomous Puntland region

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed has visited the semi-autonomous state of Puntland in what a UN envoy called a new chapter in the relations between the two states.

The UN Special Representative for Somalia, Dr. Augustine Mahiga, welcome the President's visit, organized by the UN Political Office for Somalia ahead of a UN meeting in the capital, Mogadishu.

“The visit marks a new chapter in the relations between the Transitional Federal Government and Puntland,” Mahiga said in a statement Monday.
The UN is planning to host a High Level Consultative Meeting on Ending the Transition, in Mogadishu 4-6 September.

President Sharif invited President Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud ‘Farole’ of Puntland to attend the consultative meeting.

The meeting was “a credit to the statesmanship of both President Sheikh Sharif and President Farole and opens the way for the advancement of national reconciliation and cooperation in Somalia''
the statement said.

''This is particularly critical as the Somali leadership and their partners prepare for the Consultative Meeting to adopt the Road-map defining priority tasks for the next 12 months as agreed in the Kampala Accord,” it added.

Somaliland has been seeking international recognition after holding elections that were declared free and fair in 2010.

African Union Commission President Jean Ping has, in the past, insisted that Somaliland was part of the colonial boundary of Somalia and could not be recognised as an independent state.

However, in the wake of South Sudan's separation, the AU chief said the "principle of self-determination" of the people of Somaliland and Puntland could be applied to enable the region gain full recognition.
-0- PANA AO/BOS 29Aug2011

29 Agosto 2011 17:53:06

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