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Africa Daily Press Briefing

Africa Daily Press Briefing

Robert Wood, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 16, 2008

INDEX:
TRANSCRIPT:

MR. WOOD: Good morning, everyone. I don’t have anything, so why don’t we go right to your questions.

QUESTION: Do you have anything to say about the political turmoil, apart from the other turmoil going on in Somalia, which is the fight between the president and the prime minister?

MR. WOOD: Well, yeah, clearly, there is some turmoil going on in Somalia. And you know, efforts by President Yusuf to remove Prime Minister Nur Adde, you know, basically undermines the Transitional National Government’s efforts to promote peace and stability in the region. So this is a concern to us.

QUESTION: It undermines the Transitional Government’s efforts to promote peace and stability?

MR. WOOD: Efforts for peace and stability.

QUESTION: What are those efforts exactly? This is a (inaudible) government that is not able – you know, can’t even function.

MR. WOOD: Well, we’re working – yeah, we’re working with the international community and have been for quite some time to try to do what we can to bring about a much more stable environment in Somalia. As you know, there are efforts that are going to be going on today at the UN. There’s a Contact Group meeting on Somalia, as well as a meeting to talk about piracy. And we hope to be able to pass a resolution on piracy later this afternoon, following the meeting. So there are a lot of efforts underway in the international community to try to help stabilize the situation in Somalia.

QUESTION: Have you made your concerns about the – this internal struggle between the president and the prime minister clear to them?

MR. WOOD: Look, there – we’ve had discussions with members of the government – the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia. I don’t want to get into the substance of these conversations, but I think it’s certainly – it’s been made clear that it’s important for there to be a stable, unified government so that we can deal with the situation in Somalia, which, you know, seems to deteriorate every day. And it’s a great concern of ours and a great concern of the international community as well.

QUESTION: So, I mean, but they understand your concerns because you’ve told them directly, or they understand your concerns because you just answered my question?

MR. WOOD: Look, we’ve had conversations with representatives of the Transitional Federal Government, as I said, and they’re certainly well aware of our views with regard to the importance of having a stable, working government in Somalia.

Any more questions?

QUESTION: Thank you.

ENDS

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