30 January 2013

Somalia: President to Discuss Development, Defence With EU Leaders

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Wednesday (January 30th) travelled to Brussels for meetings with top European Union officials, two weeks after his government received official recognition from the United States, AFP reported.

Mohamud is expected to meet with EU President Herman Van Rompuy, foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.

The EU has focused on three key areas in Somali development over the past three years -- defence, diplomacy and development. Last week, the Council of the European Union voted to extend its training mission for Somali soldiers by two years at a cost of about 11.6 million euros ($15.5 million). Since 2010, roughly 3,000 Somali troops have been trained under this programme.

The mandate of the EU's anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast, EU NAVFOR, has also been extended until December 2014.

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