16 December 2006 -- The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, yesterday issued the following statement on the situation in Somalia:
“Canada is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and rising tensions in Somalia. We strongly urge both the Transitional Federal Government and the Union of Islamic Courts to resume peace talks as soon as possible in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1725, and without preconditions.
“It is essential for the parties to settle their differences through negotiated rather than military means, and to commit themselves to the agreements reached in Khartoum. This is the best way of achieving lasting peace and security.
“I urge all parties in Somalia to protect civilians and ensure full, safe and unhindered access by humanitarian workers to people in need, including persons displaced due to insecurity or flooding. Canada also encourages all countries in the region to support efforts to bring peace and stability to Somalia.”