Egyptian Delegation in Djibouti to Support Somali Peace Talks
An Egyptian delegation has begun a visit to Djibouti to reaffirm its support for the Somali peace initiative sponsored by the small east African country, a member of the delegation told AFP Saturday.
The visit comes after Djibouti officials earlier this week accused Egypt of sabotaging the Somalia peace process by advising key warlords to stay away, comments fiercely rejected by Cairo.
"We are going to reaffirm that we support the peace initiative, as we always have done," said former Egyptian ambassador to Djibouti and top official in Egypt's ministry for African affairs, Ibrahim al Shouwymi.
He said the Egyptian delegation, which arrived here late Friday, would meet with the Djibouti authorities but did not say if it would take part in the talks currently underway in Arta, some 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Djibouti City.
Djibouti has accused Egyptian envoy Saleh Halim, of advising key warlords including south Mogadishu strongman, Hussein Mohammed Aidid, not to attend the talks.
The Djibouti peace initiative, which has won considerable support from the international community, has largely sidelined the warlords who have carved up Somali territory among themselves since 1991.
It wants to reduce the power of the country's armed groups and restore a central power in the country. But the fact that only a small minority of the warlords are attending the talks has made their success doubtful - DJIBOUTI (AFP)
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