U.S secretary of State, Hillary Clinton
is scheduled to meet beleaguered Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in
With this meeting, Secretary Clinton becomes the highest U.S. official to meet
The meeting signals Washington's determination to bolster support for the
Somali transitional government, which has been fighting hard-line Islamic
The insurgents have
refused to recognize the government and have vowed to overthrow the
administration to institute the strictest form of Sharia law.
Somali Chief of protocol
Abdirahman Yariso is currently with President Sheikh Sharif in Kenya. He told VOA that
Thursday's meeting represents a golden opportunity for all Somalis.
is the first time a Somali president is meeting with a high delegation from the
U.S. and this shows the commitment from the United States to Somalia," Yariso said.
He said despite the
instability, the transitional government is determined to rebuild Somalia's
"President Sheikh Sharif's
administration wants to build institutions and wants to bring peace and
stability in the country… This is an opportunity for him to discuss the issues
with Secretary Clinton, and we hope the outcome will be one that will have the
common interest of the United States and Somalia," he said.
Yariso described Thursday's
meeting as a significant development towards the Mogadishu's determination to
stabilize the country.
"This means hope for
Somalia, and it means a golden opportunity for President Sheikh Sharif to come
out and propose to the United States in order to combat international terrorism.
In order to bring humanitarian assistance to Somalia and to those who are
desperately in need… this means a lot to Somalia," Yariso said.
He praised President Barack
Obama's administration's resolute support for stabilizing Somalia.
Somalia has been without an
effective government after longtime President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown
in 1991. President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who came into office early this
year, has the backing of western nations.