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May 13,2008
Somalia peace talks open
by UPI

MOGADISHU, Somalia -- A top United Nations' envoy said peace talks between Somalia's government and a leading opposition group began on an encouraging note Tuesday.

U.N. Special Representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said in a written statement that both sides appeared focused on what was best for the Somali people when they sat down in Djibouti.

" Many, especially the young people, told me that this is a new and important first step towards stability in their own country," said Ould-Abdallah.

He again urged the two camps to do their best to resolve the growing humanitarian crisis in Somalia, where Islamic insurgents and Ethiopian-backed government troops have been battling.

The Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia were the two major parties at the talks. Statements were read from the African Union, European Union and League of Arab States.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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