Embrace dialogue to end perennial conflicts, Somali President tells the Arab world

President Mohamed Farmaajo making his inaugural address to the Arab Summit in Jordan March 29, 2017. Photo: Handout/Villa Somalia
President Mohamed Farmaajo making his inaugural address to the Arab Summit in Jordan March 29, 2017. Photo: Handout/Villa Somalia

President Mohamed Abdullahi has urged the Arab world to embrace dialogue in dealing with conflict that has devastated the region warning the future of the bloc is at stake as neighbouring Yemen marks two years of a deadly and Syria deeply embroiled in a seven year old civil war.

In a speech during the one day Summit in the Dead Sea resort, Jordan, President Farmaajo  challenged the Arab leaders to learn from Somalia noting that only viable solutions can be arrived at through dialogue.

“My brotherly advise to the Arab nations embroiled in disputes is to learn from Somalia, acknowledge that only viable solution is dialogue,” said Farmaajo.

Try democracy

While calling for an immediate end to the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq, the president said democratic practices could open pathways to ensuring stability in the region observing Somalia’s electoral process in 2016/17 signaled a positive start not only for Somalia but also the Arab world.

“Though there are many challenges in the Arab world, it’s not all gloom. Somalia had free and fair elections. That is good news for a start,” the president noted.

He told the gathering to put together efforts to deal with the challenges facing the Arab world which he observed is crucial in safeguarding their future.

“We need to unite our efforts to overcome these challenges and galvanize support for our people and safeguard our future…We call for immediate end to the fighting and violence in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.”

Terrorism

On Somalia’s security, the President said the country had borne the brunt of terrorism and in the longest time more than any of the Arab countries noting the bloc must unite in dealing with the scourge which has occassioned untold suffering to people and destroyed the society.

“Continuous terror attacks that cause ineffable loss of lives and destruction of property is the biggest affront to progress, stability and reconstruction in Somalia……terrorism has now become a fast growing tumor in almost all continents, unfortunately we had endured it longer than the rest. We call on the world to have a common position and unite efforts to combat the threat of terrorism.”

President Farmaajo who alongside his Lebanon counterpart, Michel Aoun were attending the Summit for the first time also appealed for support in addressing the ongoing drought ravaging most parts of the country. “To overcome these challenges, we need to have realistic plans and unyielding support from our brothers and friends.”

The 22 member Arab League leaders gathering in Jordan reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution to the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict.

In a statement ending the one day talks, the Summit called for a new round of peace talks based on a two-state solution and renewed a 2002 offer of “reconciliation” if Israel quit occupied Arab land and agreed a deal on Palestinian refugees.

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