Mohammed Issa Al Suwaidi, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, EU and Luxembourg, has reiterated the UAE's commitment towards the people of Somalia and its support for efforts aimed at bringing unity, security and stability to Somalia and addressing security, political and developmental challenges in the Horn of Africa.
He welcomed the latest positive development between Ethiopia and Eritrea. ''The UAE is willing to work with regional and international partners to build on this historic achievement to enhance peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.'' ''Over the recent years, the UAE has always been at the forefront of international efforts to support Somalia and restore peace and stability to its people. Towards this end, the UAE has provided humanitarian and developmental assistance, security training as well as financial and logistic support for its armed forces. We also supported efforts to combat maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia and contributed funds to regional development projects,'' said the UAE ambassador while addressing the international stakeholders gathered in Brussels for the Somalia Partnership Forum (SPF)ز
Organised by the European Union together with the Federal Government of Somalia and Sweden from 16th to 17th July, the event aimed to mobilise the international community to step up support for Somalia's efforts to build a more secure and prosperous political, economic and security future following years of conflict. Representatives from 58 countries and 6 international organisations gathered in Brussels to participate in the 2nd SPF, following the successful inaugural SPF in Mogadishu on the 5th of December 2017.
''The UAE welcomes the June political agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and other federal member states,'' said Suwaidi, expressing the UAE's support for the new Somali partnership and its pledge to advance efforts by the Federal Government of Somalia to implement its national development plan, especially in area of security reform.
''The UAE is closely monitoring the encouraging progress made in discussions between the Federal Government of Somalia and the international financial institutions. We urge regional and global actors as well as the central government to distance themselves from strategies that seek to sow seeds of division and rivalry,'' he added. He also called on them not to waste time and build on the momentum of this progress and block the way before terrorist organisations.
The President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo said: "The Federal Government of Somalia is fully committed to implement the Political Roadmap 2020, Transition plan for security, economic reform and reach out to the whole of Somalia for reconciliation and dialogue. The Somalia Partnership Forum is key for strengthened partnerships with our regional and international partners. We want to work according to the theme of the forum – forward together."
EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "The European Union is leading the international partnership to strengthen Somalia's political, economic and security reform agenda. Today, I announced that the EU will provide additional 200 million euro to support Somalia's overall stabilisation to create a better future for its people. I also signed the EU's contribution of 114.2 million euro for the African Union Mission to Somalia until the end of this year. The stability and development of the country is also critical for the stability of the broader region and for Europe."
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, said: "The Somalia Partnership Forum has made a number of strong commitments for inclusive politics. Somalia has taken very important steps on the pathway for sustainable peace and development. Sweden remains a committed partner and will double our development support to Somalia to approximately $350 million over the next five years.
A Joint Communiqué was adopted which outlines the key outcomes of the Forum.
The UAE participated in drafting the third para of the Joint Communiqué, which reads, '' We recognise that the meeting takes place in a context of recent positive and historic developments in the Horn of Africa and enhanced engagement between the leaders of the region, creating new opportunities for reconciliation, stability, regional cooperation and economic integration. This new momentum should be seized by all Somali actors and we call for all in the international community to cooperate towards that end. ''