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Somali President Makes Unscheduled Visit to Ethiopia

Somalia's interim president, Abdullahi Yusuf, has made an unexpected visit to Ethiopia, with some reports saying he went for medical reasons.

Somali officials have told the VOA Somali service that the president arrived in Addis Ababa Friday for consultations with African Union and Ethiopian leaders on political issues.

A Somali embassy source told VOA that Mr. Yusuf was sick on arrival but felt better later on, and was staying at a hotel.

Earlier, Reuters news agency and the BBC reported the Somali president made the trip for medical reasons.

Mr. Yusuf, who is about 73 years old, had a liver transplant in the mid-1990s and periodically leaves war-ravaged Somalia for medical treatment. He was admitted to a Nairobi hospital last month after suffering a chest illness. At the time, he dismissed reports that he was close to death.

In Somalia Friday, interim prime minister Nur Hassan Hussein appointed 15 members of an expected 18-member cabinet. The list of ministers was not immediately released.

Hussein named a much larger cabinet last month but later dissolved it when five ministers quit, saying their clans were not adequately represented.

Mr. Yusuf and Mr. Hussein lead Somalia's transitional government, which has struggled to assert its authority in the face of an Islamist insurgency.

The government has military backing from the Ethiopian government, which sent troops to Somalia last year to help oust an Islamist movement that controlled Mogadishu for several months.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.