Mogadishu(PP): HE Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, joined by Prime Minister Omar A. Sharmarke & the Federal Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Planning and Telecommunication, welcomed the US Delegation led by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, to discuss issues critical to the cooperation of both Governments and the future of Somalia.
The President thanked the United States for its unwavering support and appealed for increased cooperation in order to build on the positive progress made in Somalia in recent years.
President Mohamud presented areas where further improvement is necessary and requested additional support from the US Government for nation-building tasks underway and envisaged.
a. Security: The integration of all troops and formation of a properly resourced, equipped, capable and inclusive Somalia National Armed Forces.
b. Political: Completion of the three linked strands of Vision 2016, in particular the development of a workable, free, fair and credible election process to ensure the continued growth of democracy in Somalia.
c. Education: Somalia’s education system needs a complete overhaul, and new curriculum developed that allows Somali students to be educated to a level commensurate with regional peers.
d. Youth employment: Provision of a job creation scheme, linked with necessary vocational education training to ensure Somali youth are able to find meaningful employment and contribute towards prosperity of Somalia
e. Countering violent extremism: Support in defeating al-Shabaab and ensuring that Somalia acts as a fire wall to preventing the spread of extremism from other countries.
f. Economic development: Support to ensure that the Government establishes the necessary financial systems to create an enabling environment for private sector growth.
The President stressed that his government does not want, nor will it seek to extend its mandated term beyond September 2016.
Secretary Kerry, leading a delegation that included Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield and others welcomed Somalia’s progress.
a. Security: The US Government supports the formation and integration activities of the Somali National Armed Forces.
b. Political: The US Government welcomes the formation of the National Leadership Forum that includes the presidents of the Interim Regional Administrations, elders and other Somali political leaders.
c. Implementation of Vision 2016. The US Government is heartened at the level of cooperation between the different actors responsible for achieving Vision 2016, and urged more speed as time is running short.
To amplify the United States’ commitment to Somalia, Secretary Kerry made clear that the US Government is well on its way to establishing a fully functioning US Embassy in Mogadishu. To that end, the President and Prime Minister presented to Secretary Kerry the Deed to land that has been set aside for the US Embassy.
A following meeting was held, where in addition to the Federal leaders, Secretary Kerry met with regional leaders, including Dr. Abdiweli M, Ali, President of Puntland Interim Regional Administration, Mr Ahmed Mohamed Islam, President of Jubba Interim Regional Administration and Mr Sharif Hasan Sheikh Aden, President of South-West Interim Regional Administration
Secretary Kerry was satisfied by the level of cooperation between the Somali Federal Government and the regional governments and encouraged all Somali leaders to continue to work together to ensure successful elections in 2016. He acknowledged the progress made in the country, and the contribution all Somali leaders have made.
Secretary Kerry also met with civil society members. After which he left Somalia.