New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Museveni in Turkey After Eritrea Visit

President Yoweri Museveni has arrived in Istanbul, Turkey for the second Istanbul Conference on Somalia.

The conference which is being held at the Istanbul Congress Centre under the theme "Preparing Somalia's future: Goals for 2015 is being attended by representatives of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the UN donors, Somalis and International private sector, civil society groups, women's groups, youth and members of the diaspora will among other things discuss various issues under the partnership forum including Energy Water, Roads, Resilience etc.

The conference will be addressed by The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the President of the Somalia Republic Sheikh Sharif Ahmed Sharif.

The President who is accompanied by his wife who is also Minister for Karamoja Affairs Janet Museveni was received at Ataturk International Airport by the governor of Istanbul Huseyin Avni Mutlu, the Mayor Kadir Topbas and other government dignitaries including Uganda's consular representative to Turkey Dr. Mustafa Gunay, the Minister Of Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem, Minister for Defence Crispus Kiyonga and Major General Nathan Mugisha Uganda's deputy ambassador to Somalia.

The President had completed a two-day state visit to the State of Eritrea at the invitation of President Issaias Aferwerki.

The Eritrean president visited Uganda last August for three days and during his stay the two leaders discussed regional security and development cooperation issues. While here, Afwerki pledged to commitment to efforts aimed at stabilizing the East African region.

President Museveni in Eritrea accompanied by First Lady Janet Museveni. PPU Photo

A statement issued by State House then said Afwerki thanked his Ugandan counterpart for his efforts to search for peace and development in the region. Uganda is playing a key role in the UN backed Africa Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) aimed at stablising the war-torn country.

"When we meet, we talk inspiring issues and I really feel at home. I also appreciate the contributions of President Museveni and I urge him to continue. I will support him in all his endeavors," Afwerki said at a state banquet.

At a press conference before his departure the Eritrean leader, who has been criticized by both the African Union and the United Nations for reportedly supporting Somalia militants, denied allegations that he supports Al Shabaab. He however said the problem of Somalia was not the militants but the need to re-unify the country and bring back parts that declared autonomy.

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