Somaliland to snub Turkey conference on SomaliaBy ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu | Monday, May 7 2012 at 15:13
The self-declared state of Somaliland has ruled out attending a meeting in Turkey called to review progress over Somalia following the London conference in February.
The breakaway country's foreign affairs minister Mohamed Abdullahi Omar said that the planned Istanbul conference in June did not concern it, despite Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo having attended the London meeting.
Dr Omar said that the main agenda in Turkey would concentrate on the Roadmap, a document crafted to guide Somalia from transitional status to full government by August.
"That Roadmap does not concern us," said the minister Sunday in Hargeisa, some 1,500 kilometres northwest of Mogadishu.
He said that Somaliland had received an invitation from Istanbul over the weekend, but it was not happy with the vast majority of the agenda concentrating on Somalia's stabilisation.
Somaliland unilaterally declared its independence on May 18 1991, following the collapse of Somalia’s central government in January that same year.
Since then, its promoters insist that the country was legitimately carved out of the colonial borders of the former British Somaliland Protectorate, which united with the Italy-colonised Somalia on July 1, 1960.
Nevertheless, Somaliland has not been recognised by any other country in the world despite intense lobbying.
In the final London communiqué, the meeting participants that included 44 representatives from countries and international organisations suggested dialogue between Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement to clarify their future relations.
The Istanbul conference on Somalia, thus, is planned to be a review and advancement of the conclusions reached on Somalia during the meeting in London.
From the Somali side, several groups participated in the London conference including the TFG’s government, parliament, presidency and representatives from other authorities in Somalia including Somaliland.
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