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Sunday, 25 April 2010

Turkey to host international conference on Somalia, Spanish FM Moratinos says

Turkey plans to hold an international conference on the political situation in Somalia in which measures to fight piracy off the coast of the African country will be discussed.

According to Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Angel Losada, the international conference on Somalia is scheduled to be held in Istanbul in mid-May.

The Spanish foreign minister said on Tuesday that the conference would also be examining the effects of international assistance to the interim government of Somalia, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Losada also stated that the idea of an international conference on Somalia was first put forward last year by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Somalia has been beset by unrest since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

In addition, the Somali coast has been infested by piracy in recent years.

Attacks by heavily-armed Somali raiders in speedboats have prompted foreign navies to patrol the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and to provide escorts for commercial vessels travelling in the area.

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