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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 7, 2007


Somalia: Assistant Secretary Frazer Visits Baidoa

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer visited Baidoa today to support international efforts to achieve lasting stability and security in Somalia. This was the first visit to Somalia by a senior U.S. official in over a decade. Her visit highlighted the U.S. commitment at the highest levels to support the efforts of the Somali people to take advantage of their historic opportunity to achieve stability and security.

Her visit followed her participation in the recent meeting in Cairo of the International Contact Group on Somalia, which emphasized concern about the violence which has taken place in Mogadishu, and which stressed the need for an inclusive national reconciliation process.

Assistant Secretary Frazer met with President Yusuf, Prime Minister Gedi and the Speaker of the Parliament, and addressed the Transitional Federal Parliament, and spoke with clan elders and representatives of civil society. In these meetings, she urged the leadership of the Transitional Federal Institutions, clans, and civil society to support the current truce and to work urgently to bring about inclusive national reconciliation. She and all of the interlocutors she met with agreed that the reconciliation process should be open to all Somalis who eschew violence, extremism, and terrorism. She made clear U.S. views that the best way to isolate terrorists and extremists is through an inclusive political process based on the Transitional Federal Charter. Moving ahead expeditiously with the national reconciliation process will lay the groundwork to carry out successfully the transition to an elected government set for 2009.

Assistant Secretary Frazer indicated that the U.S. is moving ahead with disbursement of $40 million in assistance, and has asked Congress for an additional $60 million dollars in aid for Somalia. This assistance will be used to support development and security needs, to assist in the deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) stabilization force, and to provide humanitarian assistance.

Discussions with all interlocutors were frank and constructive, and laid the basis for intensive collaboration.

2007/267


Released on April 7, 2007

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