Somalia controls its own fate, PM says

May 31, 2012 at 1:20 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 31 (UPI) -- Somalia needs help from the international community but its fate rests largely in the hands of its people, the country's prime minister said from Istanbul.

Delegates from 54 countries arrived Thursday in Istanbul for the second conference for Somalia this year. London hosted a similar summit in February.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said at that opening of the summit that Somalia was making significant political gains.

"After a long period of instability and conflict, we now have ahead of us an opportunity for genuine peace and security," he was quoted by al-Jazeera as saying.

Somalia this summer formally ends a period of political transition. The government has been able to exert its authority beyond Mogadishu with the support of forces from the African Union.

Somali interim Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali told delegates at the start of the Istanbul summit that an international trust fund was needed for long-term development. The fate of the country, however, lies with its people.

"Somalia's future is in the hands of Somalia," he was quoted as saying.

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