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**NEWS**

CONTACT GROUP MEETING ON SOMALIA - 2017-09-18

 The OIC Contact Group on Somalia met at Ministerial level on 18 September 2017 on the sideline of the Annual Coordination Meeting (ACM) of Foreign Ministers during the 72nd Session of the UNGA in New York. The meeting reviewed the latest developments in Somalia. It received a briefing from the Somali Foreign Minister and the OIC Secretary General. It also heard interventions from other members of the Contact Group.

During the deliberations which focused on peace and state building process, stabilization efforts and the democratization process in the country, the Meeting agreed on the following:

i. The Meeting highlighted the importance for the respect of the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Somalia by all concerned.

ii. The Meeting noted with satisfaction the successful conclusion of the political transition achieved in Somalia with the peaceful, democratic and transparent election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed who took office on 22nd February 2017 and hoped that new leadership will usher in a new prosperous era that would lay the ground for full blown democracy by 2020 in Somalia. The Meeting also commended former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud for his statesmanship and sportsmanship as well as for his overall contributions in the stabilization process.

iii. The Meeting encouraged the new authorities in Somalia to intensify their outreach efforts in order to achieve comprehensive national reconciliation including with the regions as a means of laying the basis for durable peace, stability and democracy in Somalia.

iv. The Meeting commended the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), the Somali Security Forces and AMISOM for their sacrifices in the stabilization project and urged them to sustain the momentum. It paid tribute to those who lost their lives and appealed to the UNSC to consider lifting fully the arms embargo imposed on Somalia in order to accelerate the building of Somalia’s capacity in the security sector.

v. The Meeting strongly condemned violent extremism and all acts of terrorism perpetrated by the Al-Shabaab militant group which continues to attack innocent civilians, AMISOM and the Somali security forces in their continuing desperate failed attempt to destabilize the Somali democratic project, the region, the reconstruction and rehabilitation process underway in the country. It emphasized that such obnoxious acts of violence negate the Islamic values of peace, moderation and the respect for the sanctity of human life. The Meeting called on the militants to renounce violence and embrace the offer of the new authorities to join the peace and reconciliation process.

vi. The Meeting welcomed the outcome of the London Somalia Conference held on 9-12 May 2017 in London in which the OIC participated and called on an enduring international partnership with the new Somali authorities in order to realize the goals of the two strategic documents, “Security Pact” and “New Partnership for Somalia” adopted by the Conference in order and secure the long term future of the country.

vii. The Meeting further noted with appreciation the Humanitarian Coordination Forum jointly convened by the OIC and its partners on 11 April 2017 in Mogadishu to strengthen partnership among key stakeholders, including national and international NGOs, the UN, FGS and donors to raise awareness on the drought situation and act to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable people.

viii. The Meeting requested the OIC Member States and Financial Institutions to step up their assistance including humanitarian assistance to the FGS and the drought affected regions, to support peace and state building as well as the reconstruction efforts consistent with the “New Partnership for Somalia”

ix. The Meeting reviewed the overall engagement of the OIC in Somalia and welcomed the transformation of the OIC Office into a Development agency to contribute to the long term political and socio-economic development of the country. In this context, it requested the Secretary General to undertake his planned visit to Somalia as soon as possible to explore ways and means to further assist the Somali national reconciliation.

x. The Meeting requested all the Member States starting from the members of the Contact Group to reopen their diplomatic missions in Mogadishu. It also decided to convene its next meeting in the Somali capital as requested by the Resolution of 44th CFM.

xi. The Meeting took note of the plan by the Secretary General to undertake a solidarity visit to Somalia and encouraged him to actualize the visit as soon as possible

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