Azerbaijan is concerned over the devastating humanitarian situation in Somalia, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
Climate change is leading to frequent droughts in Somalia- forcing people to leave their homes almost every two years, the Azerbaijani minister said at the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Contact Group on Somalia in Doha Nov.3, the Foreign Ministry told News.Az.
“As a fragile state, Somalia remains in dire need of massive help in all areas, notably, capacity building, state and institution building, employment creation, poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, national reconciliation, countering violent extremism and terrorism which still poses a grave danger to the country and the region. For Somalia to achieve a future of security, governance and governing institution have to remain focused and united and avoid unnecessary distractions,” he said.
Minister Mammadyarov reiterated Azerbaijan’s full solidarity with Somalia focused on peace and state-building process as well as the stabilization of the country.
“We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism and violent extremism perpetrated by the remnant of the Al-Shabaab militants called on the militants to heed reason and abandon violence by joining the peacebuilding and reconciliation process,” he said.
The Azerbaijani minister also commended the progress made towards achieving reconciliation among Somalis, stability, security, economic growth and prosperity, and equitable representation for all women, men and the youth in Somalia since the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
“I would like to express our support to the Federal Government of Somalia in its efforts to overcome difficulties, to achieve reconciliation and to build a secure, stable, united, democratic and prosperous nation. I would also like to commend the efforts of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its Member States in contributing to achieving peace and national reconciliation in Somalia and mobilizing assistance for the urgent needs of the peoples affected by the humanitarian crisis in this country,” he added.
Mammadyarov stressed that Azerbaijan responded to the appeals of the respective governments and international organizations to provide urgent aid aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia – the worst-affected country in the region.
He recalled that in 2012 the Eurasian Regional Centre of ICYF which is OIC affiliated institution hosted in the capital of Azerbaijan conducted with the support of Azerbaijani Government a charity campaign which resulted in providing 1-month food security for victims of the Somalian drought.
“Azerbaijan’s ADA University also provides fully covered scholarship education for young Somali professionals in the fields important for strengthening state-building. It is important that the international community continues supporting Somalia. At the same time, all parties must allow unimpeded humanitarian access and refrain from actions which threaten the safety of the local population and those assisting them. There is also a need to redouble efforts to find long-term solutions for refugees and internally displaced people in Somalia. Azerbaijan is ready to continue its support to those in need in Somalia and other countries of the region,” Mammadyarov added.