Somalia hosts historic EU delegation By ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu | Thursday, June 13   2013 at  16:51

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud (centre) listens to Permanent Chair of the EU-PSC Olof Skoog (holding mic) at a meeting in Mogadishu June 12, 2013. ABDULKADIR KHALIF | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Somali has hosted its first ever EU Political and Security Committee (EU-PSC) delegation

The EU-PSC ambassadors from the 27 member states met and held talks with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

Addressing the ambassadors at Halane, a compound next to Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport, President Mohamoud said: “I am very pleased to receive you in Mogadishu on this historic visit. Welcome to the capital of Somalia. Your presence here today is indicative of the change that is happening here.”

The President thanked the delegates for their unwavering support to the government and the people of Somalia, which he said shows the commitment of the EU to see Somalia succeed.

The mission was led by the EU-PSC Permanent Chair, Mr Olof Skoog.

President Mohamoud thanked EU member states for sending their ambassadors to re-establish diplomatic relations and hoped that soon a full-fledged EU Mission would come to Mogadishu.

“We have made very considerable progress over the past year on security sector reform, political issues, and rebuilding state institutions," he said.

"But I am not under any illusion about the challenges that remain, and nor should you be. This is a job in good progress, but with much still to do."

Referring to a conference on Somalia to take place in Brussels in September, the President said: “I very much appreciate the friendship and the initiative of Baroness Ashton (Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission) to co-host with me the Brussels Conference on September 16.

"I have established a high level Task Force for the New Deal process and we will be launching consultations throughout Somalia to prepare the COMPACT that will be presented in Brussels. The COMPACT will provide my Government’s framework for the next three years in terms of our political, security and developmental priorities and I very much look forward to the engagement of your heads of state and Foreign ministers.”

New Deal is the EU engagement in fragile countries, especially support for peace and state-building.

Earlier in June, Somalia’s request for admission to Cotonou Agreement, the EU – African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) States Partnership Agreement, was approved the recent EU-ACP ministerial meeting in Brussels.