U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
|IMMEDIATE RELEASE||June 09, 2015|
Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work hosted Somali Prime Minister Omar Ali Sharmarke and Somali Minister of Defense General Abdulkadir Sheikh Ali Dini for their first meeting at the Pentagon.
The leaders discussed the importance of the U.S.-Somali security assistance and counterterrorism operations. Work praised Somali forces success in degrading al-Shabaab in the past two years.
They discussed how taking the fight to al-Shabaab requires integrating regional militia forces into the Somali National Army (SNA) deliberately, but without delay. The successes of the Danab companies, which could serve as a good model for the rest of the SNA, were also discussed.
Work underscored the department's strong commitment to supporting both the African Union Mission in Somalia and the development of Somali security forces.
The deputy secretary noted it is imperative that Somalia completes the state formation process in advance of holding elections next year, in line with the agreed timeline. Progress on the political front is a necessary foundation for the development of Somali security forces.
The leaders stated they look forward to working together well into the future.
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