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World leaders gather 'to discuss Somalia's future' at London conference

London, Thu, 23 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 23 (ANI): World leaders have gathered in London for a one-day conference aimed at discussing the future of Somalia, and to focus on finding peace and ending threats of terrorism and piracy.


As the conference stated, British Prime Minister David Cameron said he hoped the process would generate "new momentum".


Representatives from many Somali factions are also attending, but not the Islamist group that controls much of the centre and south of the country, The BBC reports.


US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi and UN chief Ban Ki-moon are among the leaders due to join the discussions.


UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the conference was about aiding "a failed state without Western intervention".


Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, among a number of senior government figures attending the event, has warned the country is at a "critical juncture" and needs more international help.


The UK has said that its increased focus Somalia is justified as the activities of militant groups and pirates operating off the coast of Somalia pose a direct threat to British interests in the region and to both regional and global security.


Meanwhile, Islamist insurgents who have been fighting the internationally recognised government since 2007 have said the London conference was "another attempt" to colonise Somalia. (ANI)


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