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SLUG: 2-312305 Somalia Peace Talks (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=1/26/2004

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=SOMALIA / PEACE TALKS (L-ONLY)

NUMBER=2-312305

BYLINE=ALISHA RYU

DATELINE=NAIROBI

INTRO: Somali warlords and politicians attending peace talks in Kenya say they are ready to sign a long-awaited agreement on the formation of a parliament. V-O-A Correspondent Alisha Ryu has details from Nairobi.

TEXT: Diplomats and observers say the major Somali faction leaders and politicians participating in the peace process in Nairobi have reached a rare consensus on the make-up of a new parliament.

Somali observer Guhled Mohammed says participants are elated by the unexpected breakthrough in the long-running peace talks.

/// MOHAMMED ACT ///

We know they have agreed and that's the most important thing. You know, Somalis previously have never come all of them together. So, we see this as a very good way forward.

/// END ACT ///

The president of Somalia's transitional national government, Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, reportedly told Arab delegates that an agreement on a new parliament could be signed as early as Wednesday.

If a deal is signed, it will mark the first time a broad cross-section of leaders in the war-torn nation will have put their names to a document that could help end more than a decade of bitter fighting.

The Horn of Africa country has not had a functioning government since 1991 when factional fighters overthrew dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. (Signed)

NEB/AR/MAR/KBK/FC



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