The United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Richard Moose has completed a six-day visit to Somalia where he had top-level talks with Somali leaders.
GV: Bank building in Mogadishu.
CU: US envoy Richard Mosse speaking to Somalia Finance Minister.
SV: Moose and Minister signing agreement.
CU: Moose signing and shaking hands with Minister.
MOOSE: "I'm delighted to be here this morning, Mr. Minister, to sign this important assistance agreement. It's a very tangible expression of the concern which the United States has for the Somalia people. It's an...it reflects the earnest desire of my Government to provide immediate and effective humanitarian help to those who've suffered from adversity, but who, like the Somali people, are willing and eager to help themselves. It is as you have noted, the second commodity assistance agreement we have signed with the Somali Democratic Republic in the last three months."
Mr. Moose left Mogadishu for Kenya on Thursday (23 March), saying relations between the United States and Somalia were entering a new and positive phase. He told reporters the two countries shared several important common objectives, and would work together to achieve these objectives.
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Background: The United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Richard Moose has completed a six-day visit to Somalia where he had top-level talks with Somali leaders. Mr. Moose met President Mohamed Siad Barre several times, but details of their discussions were kept secret. On Monday (20 March), the Assistant Secretary of State met the Somali Finance Minister, Muhamed Yusaf Weyrah to sign a 7-million dollar food aid agreement. The United States has already provided Somalia with food supplies valued at 6-million Dollars since December, but the new agreement is aimed at providing food for the thousands of war refugees now in the country.
SYNOPSIS: The signing ceremony took place at a bank in central Mogadishu.
Reporters from Mogadishu have indicated that the United States is prepared to extend its aid programme to Somalia to include a wider range of supplies, but has stipulated that Somalia would be compelled to drop its claims on neighbouring territory first. The Somalis, while keen to get as much aid as possible, appear reluctant to accept this condition. The Somali constitution has always recognised an ideal of a Greater Somalia, which includes areas of Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.
Mr. Moose's visit to Somalia has been taken as a positive indication of increasing United States interest in the recently defeated country.