"We believe this government is the best hope we've had in quite some time for a return to stability and the possibility of progress in Somalia," Clinton said today during a joint news conference with Ahmed."It's fair to say that President Obama and I want to expand and extend our support for the [transitional government,]" Clinton said.During the Bush administration, the U.S. largely bypassed the Somali government and limited its engagement to counter-terrorism efforts...more..http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-clinton-africa7-2009aug07,0,5499475.story
Clinton held talks in Kenya with Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, whose administration is battling hardline Islamist militants including the al Shabaab insurgent group.
"It is fair to say that President Obama and I want to expand and extend our support for the transitional federal government," she said later at a joint news conference alongside Ahmed.Western security agencies say Somalia is a haven for extremists plotting attacks in the region and beyond.Australian police said this week they had uncovered a plot to attack a Sydney army base by men they said had links to al Shabaab, which Washington says is al Qaeda's proxy in Somalia.Clinton said the presence of "terrorist elements" in the turbulent country posed a threat to Africa and beyond -- and she warned neighbouring Eritrea to stop meddling in Somali affairs."With respect to Eritrea, we are making it very clear that their actions are unacceptable ... and we intend to take action if they do not cease," she said."It is long past time for Eritrea to cease and desist its support for al Shabaab and to start being a productive, rather than a destabilizing, factor."Eritrea routinely denies allegations of supporting rebels in Somalia.Ahmed said Eritrea still had an opportunity to "correct" its behaviour. The United States has offered military aid to his administration in recent months, including more than 40 tonnes of weapons and ammunition, as it fights al Shabaab.Clinton said Washington had given $150 million (89.2 million pounds) to Somalia over the past two years, and would provide additional funds...more..http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/08/06/world/international-uk-somalia-usa-clinton.html