UN Security Council Open Debate on Somalia

09.07.2009

Mr. President,



We thank Undersecretaries General Malcorra and Pascoe, as well as the Permanent Representative of Somalia for their presentations.



I would like to thank you for taking the initiative to convene this important and timely meeting. The Horn of Africa is once again at a critical juncture. The future of Somalia proper and peace and stability in the region as a whole rests in the balance.




The Transitional Federal Government, AMISOM and all civilians in Somalia today are together faced with an extremist armed threat that is determined to remove any remnant of stability, normalcy and prosperity and remodel this already warn-torn country in their own narrow mindset.



At this delicate time, it is crucial for the Security Council to keep abreast of developments and apply pressure to bear in order to help ensure that peace and stability in this fragile region is restored. In this context, I would like to underscore that all the elements contained in the Presidential Statement of the Council dated 18 May 2009 are equally valid and relevant today and have the full support of Turkey.



While important progress has been made in the implementation of the Djibouti Peace Process over the past six months, the TFG is still faced with an existential challenge. Moreover, the conflict has to a large degree lost its Somali identity as outside forces are taking the lead in efforts to destabilize the country. It is clear that the extremist armed groups and foreign elements that are targeting both the TFG and AMISOM are aiming essentially to undermine the reconciliation process and bring about the collapse of the TFG and the Djibouti Pace Process. This cannot be allowed to happen.



AMISOM has a pivotal role to play in the days and months ahead. Turkey welcomes the AU's ongoing commitment to AMISOM and we applaud those nations that contribute to AMISOM for their valor. Turkey believes that, once it reaches its authorized strength, AMISOM will be able to help turn the tide and assist the TFG in expanding the areas it controls. In this context, it will be important for those nations which have expressed their intention to provide troops to AMISOM to follow through on their promises and for the UN to keep providing its support as outlined in Security Council Resolution 1872.



Turkey attributes great importance to the calls made by the African Union as well as other regional organizations with regard to Somalia. The statements and decisions issued at the 13th AU Summit in Sirte, Libya have made the commitment of African Leaders to Somalia abundantly clear and this is crucial. Ultimately, while international support is crucial and must continue unabated, the comprehensive solution to the conflict in Somalia must be an African one, with the AU as its main pillar.



In moving forward, the effective implementation of the arms embargo on Somalia as well as preventing the entry of foreign elements onto Somali soil is clearly an urgent priority. If Somalia is to cease being a source of instability for the Horn of Africa, all regional actors need to become a part of the solution and not the problem.



On the other hand, while evaluating possible options on how to develop a pragmatic and concrete framework in further helping Somalia, Turkey believes that a results-oriented approach that takes into consideration past experiences with regard to this country and the region will be the most effective one.



The Transitional Federal Government has and will continue to enjoy the full support of Turkey as the only legitimate authority in Somalia. We recently contributed to the UN Trust Fund for Somalia and stand ready to train AMISOM troops in Turkey. We are also in the process of evaluating how we can help train Somali National Forces.




On the other hand, the scourge of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia continues to be a serious threat to international maritime safety, in particular to seafarers and international trade as well as to the security and prosperity of the countries in the region.



Suffering from this scourge, Turkey deplores and condemns these illegal acts and continues to contribute to counter-piracy efforts at sea with two frigates deployed in the region through Combined Task Force 151 and Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.



Turkey also fully supports the work of the Contact Group on Somali Piracy (CGSP) which was established pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1851.



Yet, wefully recognize that a lasting solution to the problem can only be found if anti-piracy efforts are to be supported and complemented by concrete policies and measures that will contribute to the establishment of law and order in Somalia as well as sustained economic development in the region.



Needless to say, as in the past, our significant commitment to Somalia will continue.



I thank you Mr. President.