Russian foreign policy
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     Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation at the Security Council Meeting on the Situation in Somalia, October 19, 2001

      October 25, 2001

     The Russian Federation has invariably favored the earliest achievement in Somalia of national reconciliation on the basis of respect for the territorial integrity of the Somali state. The success of peaceful settlement in that country depends on whether all the major forces of society can be drawn into it, including those who boycotted the peace conference in Arta.

     The Security Council should continue to support the efforts being made in this direction, including on the part of the new Somali leadership. We welcome the readiness noted in the Secretary General's report of Somalia's Transitional National Government and a number of groupings for dialogue without preliminaries and call on those who have not yet done so also to follow their example. The prime objective of such dialogue, in our view, must be reaching an accord on the ending of violence and ensuring a proper level of security in the localities.

     We share the prudent approach set forth by the Secretary General with regard to the question of establishing a UN peace-building mission in Somalia and support the idea of sending to Mogadishu an interagency mission to assess the security situation.

     It is the task of UN members at this stage to provide favorable external conditions for overcoming the protracted conflict in Somalia. We as Security Council members will strictly see to it that the territory of Somalia is not used for the purposes of undermining the peace process in that country and destabilizing the situation in the Horn of Africa as a whole. All countries must continue to observe undeviatingly the military embargo against Somalia.

     We welcome the intention of the Secretary General to intensify the exchange of views within the UN walls between the main "external players" of Somali settlement and are ready to take an active part in it.

     As far as the idea of establishing a committee of friends of Somalia is concerned, it merits attention in principle. We regard as long overdue the need to work out a common approach by the international community to render support to the peace process in Somalia. In this regard, we consider it useful for that body to assist in overcoming the competition among the various peace initiatives on Somalia; its composition, apart from members of the IGAD and the Partners Forum, should include other concerned players as well, including from among the Security Council members.

     Sharing the concern about the grave humanitarian situation in a number of areas of Somalia, we welcome the activities of UN programs rendering assistance to its people wherever there exist safe conditions. We call upon the Somali parties to actively help the work of UN humanitarian personnel for the good of their people.

     Russia as a Security Council member, relying on its long-standing friendship with the people of Somalia, will continue to assist the restoration of its statehood on the terms meeting the interests of the Somalis and security in the region.

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