MOGADISHU, Somalia, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Former diplomat Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke has been named the new prime minister of Somalia.
Sharmarke, who holds Canadian and Somalian citizenship, is seen as a bridge between Muslims within the government and the international community.
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's appointment of Sharmarke is seen as key to resolving the country's 18-year old conflict, the BBC reported.
"The Somali people are not interested in having a government which is beset by infighting instead of helping the people," Sharmarke said. "And I will closely work with the Somali people and parliament."
Ahmed was elected president in January under a power-sharing deal that allowed him to name the new prime minister. The deal was brokered by the United Nations after the resignation last December of former President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.