Terzi pays surprise visit to Somalia

Italian FM voices support for united State

Terzi pays surprise visit to Somalia

Rome, October 23 - Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi paid a surprise visit to Somali capital Mogadishu Tuesday to voice Italy's support for a united Somali State. It was the first visit to Mogadishu by an Italian foreign minister since 1992, and the only one by an EU foreign minister. During his trip, unannounced for security reasons, Terzi met President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Abdi Farah Shirdon Saacid, voicing "Italy's full support for a unitary Somali Federal State" and for the adoption of a new Constitution defending human and civil rights. Terzi said Italy would continue to back the Somali government's fight against rebels and pirates and provide "strategic" development aid. The Somali president and prime minister voiced their "huge appreciation for the high political and symbolic value" of Terzi's visit. Mogadishu is shifting from two decades of civil war to a quivering democracy and the country's once-rampant al-Shabaab rebels were recently pushed out of their last stronghold into the countryside. Pirates continue to plague shipping in the Gulf of Aden.

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