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Somali Leaders Resolve Differences Over Interim Government


Somalia's top leaders have worked out their differences and agreed on how to stabilize the country's interim government.

A Somali spokesman (Abdirahman Dinari) says the talks between the three leaders, held in the southern town of Baidoa, were a success and that they agreed to reduce the number of ministries to 31.

An Ethiopian delegation met with the Somali leaders to help them settle their differences on whether to negotiate with the Islamic militias that control most of southern Somalia.

Reuters news agency quotes the spokesman as saying parliament will meet tomorrow in order to approve the decision. He said Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi will then take up to five days to appoint new ministers.

Since last week, 40 officials have quit the Somali government, including more than one-third of the cabinet. Most blame the crisis on Gedi, who they say has been reluctant to pursue peace talks with Islamic militias.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.