Qatar has invited the international community to join forces to find radical solutions to the crisis in Somalia so that it can maintain its sovereignty and achieve national reconciliation, noting the efforts and concrete steps taken by the east African country for the benefit of the Somali people.
This came during a speech delivered by HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, at the International Partnership Forum on Somalia, which began yesterday in Brussels, Belgium.
The minister said that the broad participation of the international community in the Forum affirms the common will to find radical solutions to the Somali crisis so that the country can maintain its sovereignty, achieve national reconciliation, establish security on its territory, build its institutions and provide a decent living for its people.
“This can only be achieved through joining the efforts of the international community,” he said.
“In order to build on the momentum that has been achieved, we must continue to make initiatives to support Somalia, honour the commitments we made, respect Somalia’s sovereignty and not interfere in its internal affairs, in accordance with international law and the political declarations made in this regard, in addition to providing full support in the fight against terrorism, which we condemn regardless of its pretexts, and strengthening co-operation between the federal government and all its states without marginalising any party,” HE al-Muraikhi added.
He emphasised the importance of increasing support for African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom), particularly the by United Nations, pursuant to Chapter VIII of the Charter.
The minister of State for Foreign Affairs said that the challenges facing Somalia were not limited to the areas of security, economy, social, institutional and internal peace, pointing to the natural disasters, most importantly the severe drought that is sweeping the country.
He reaffirmed that Qatar would continue providing relief assistance to Somalia and other affected countries, thus assuming its responsibility as an active and responsible member of the international community, out of the belief that peace, security, development and human rights are interdependent and are the only way to avoid extremism, violence and terrorism.
The minister added that meeting humanitarian and development needs, reforms, social justice and human rights must prevail in accordance with the purposes and objectives of the United Nations.
He said that there is no doubt that since the last elections of 2016-2017 and the election of the new government led by President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo”, Somalia has taken concrete steps. “Somalia has made tangible progress and reforms at all levels, and Qatar reaffirms its support for the government’s efforts and the co-operation of the states, and we urge everyone to persevere in these efforts in the interests of the Somali people,” he said.
HE al-Muraikhi added: “The international community’s confidence in a promising future for Somalia is confirmed by the volume of assistance reviewed by the European Union, the World Bank and the friendly countries, and this is the first time that donors have made such an important contribution, and we are proud to be among the most important donors”.
“Qatar is in constant and close contact with the Somali government and the UN Mission in Mogadishu, and we also cherish our partnership with the European Union, the World Bank and the African Union in its various institutions, as well as neighbouring and friendly countries to co-ordinate and unify efforts to serve our overall objectives,” the minister said.
He also pointed out that Qatar’s support for Somalia from 2010 to 2017 from the governmental and non-governmental sectors exceeded $200mn and in November 2017, Qatar announced an additional $200mn support package to support health, education and economic empowerment projects as well as infrastructure projects which links cities and supports the economy by linking the production areas with markets and ports.
The minister said that the government of Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities, launched a civil donation campaign in early 2018 (during the holy month of Ramadan), to help the Somali people.
He emphasised that, based on the principle of complementarity and support of the government’s efforts to establish security and peace and drive the development of the country, it will be important to focus in the next phase on supporting the federal states to develop local infrastructure such as roads, markets, administrative buildings and solar energy in partnership with the United Nations and the World Bank, in co-ordination with the federal government.