Arab League pledges financial support for Somali elections

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Cairo (SONNA): The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. Mr. Mohamed Abdirizak Mohamud, described the meeting of the Council of the League of Arab States at the level of foreign ministers, held on September 9-10 in Cairo, as fruitful, as they discussed the agenda of financially supporting the Somali elections, the Palestinian issue, developments in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Lebanon, and other important topics.

The Arab foreign ministers agreed, in their 156th ordinary session, chaired by the State of Kuwait, represented by H.E. Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to support the Somali elections financially and technically, to complete them before the end of the current year 2021.

In a speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia at the meeting of Arab foreign ministers, he stressed that the Somali federal government is looking forward to a real contribution to advancing the electoral process and supporting it financially and technically, which will be considered as a clear message to the Somali people and the international community to confirm the interest of the brotherly Arab countries in crossing the country to safety and overcoming the current challenges.

His Excellency Minister Mohamed Abdirizak added in his speech that Somalia has made great progress in the past years, but it still needs the support and backing of its Arab brothers to develop and rebuild state institutions and continue implementing priority programs that are represented in promoting the values of democracy, peaceful transfer of power and holding elections (which began the Senate and will be followed by the People’s House up to the presidential elections), as well as support for state institutions, reconstruction, debt relief, and investment in key sectors such as livestock, agriculture and fisheries.

Somalia appealed to the Arab countries to pay $12 million out of the $29 million budget planned for the conduct of the electoral process.

For the first time, Somalia since the collapse of its central rule in 1991 will pay the most amount of the parliamentary and presidential elections budget, as Western countries paid $7.7 million through the United Nations, while the amount that will be collected from the candidates is estimated at 8.2 million dollars, which makes Somalia to pay the largest amount of the total budget allocated to the elections.

In the same context, the Somali Foreign Minister held a bilateral meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart, H.E. Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, and over the phone with his Qatari and Omani counterparts, H.E. Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and H.E. Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi, and discussed with them the development of bilateral relations and opportunities for cooperation at all levels and the strengthening of coordination to serve common interests.

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