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José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Prime Minister of Somalia

Press point

Brussels, 21 February 2012

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

I am very happy to welcome today in Brussels the Prime Minister of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, Mr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.

This visit is very timely as it comes ahead of a crucial international conference due to take place in London on 23rd and 24th of February. This conference should provide an opportunity for a very important change in the security situation and enable political progress in the country.

I have reaffirmed to Prime-Minister Abdiweli that the European Union is firmly committed to continue assisting Somalia to restore peace and stability so that all Somalis have the chance to live a better life.

The EU is already doing a lot and is at the forefront of support to Somalia and its people. Let me recall that we are the lead donor, with 415 million euros allocated for 2008-2013, funding activities on governance, education and economic development.

We are also the first humanitarian actor in the region. We showed it again by our swift reaction to provide an ongoing emergency support when the famine struck Somalia over the summer.

The EU is also heavily engaged in supporting security in the country and the wider region, jointly with the African Union. We have helped to train the national security forces, and we have recently renewed our naval operation Atalanta until December 2014 whose action has proved successful to fight piracy.

The EU is also the biggest supporter of AMISOM. Since 2007 we have contributed with 325 million euros to this African led security mission. The presence of these forces around Mogadishu has notably enabled the Transitional Federal Institutions to carry out their functions and to facilitate the humanitarian operations.

Today, we understand there is a need for an increased number of troops to help secure the country. Ahead of the London Conference, I am happy to say that the EU stands ready to mobilize additional resources to enable an increase of the number of troops, pending a decision of the UN Security Council. Our effort will be substantial but will only cover part of the increased needs so I call on other donors and the international community to step up their assistance.

I have also told to the Prime-Minister that our continued support and engagement must be met with improvements in the political front. I really want to encourage the Prime Minister to continue on the very courageous path he has chosen. As he said to me in a very convincing way, this is of course in the very interest of the Somalis themselves and he said he is really committed to this path.

It is important that Somali political actors also make progress in the roadmap for political and constitutional transition so that Somalia can enjoy a stable political framework conducive to the stabilisation of the country.

I want to thank you, Prime Minister, for all the elements you gave to me about your plans and how you see the transition in the future, namely the idea to end this transition phase by August.

Any long term solution will have to come from within and involve the Somalis themselves. The mission of the international community, including Europe, is to assist you in this endeavour, but in the end it is your will and determination and that of the Somali people which will count most.

I thank you for your attention.

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