UN chief arrives in Turkey to attend international summit on Somalia

16:25, May 22, 2010      

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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon arrived in Turkey on Friday to take part in a major international conference in Istanbul on bolstering the fragile peace process in Somalia, UN officials said here.

The gathering -- co-hosted by the United Nations and the Turkish government -- seeks to help consolidate political stability, security and reconstruction in the conflict-ravaged Horn of Africa nation, which has not had a functioning central government in two decades.

The Horn of Africa nation continues to be plagued by fighting between government forces and its supporters and Islamist rebels, as well as by drought, poverty, food insecurity and heavy flooding.

It remains the scene of one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), some 575,000 refugees and nearly 3 million people dependent on aid, out of a total population of nearly 8 million.

Participants at the international conference, which kicks off on Saturday, will also explore ways to combat rampant piracy off the Somali coast.

In Istanbul on Friday, the secretary-general lauded Turkey's leadership in world affairs in areas ranging from UN peacekeeping missions to diplomacy, including the recent initiative with Brazil to resolve tensions over Iran's nuclear program, said the officials.



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(Editor:燕勐)

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