President of Djibouti
Ismail Omar Guelleh

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The Opening Speech of H.E President Ismail Omar Guelleh
at Somalia’s Peace Conference at Arta.
In the Name of God, the Merciful


Brothers and Sisters
I extend to you the warmest greetings

To begin with, on behalf of the Gov’t and people of the Republic of Djibouti, and on my own behalf, let me take this opportunity to welcome you to Arta, a scenic spot in the Republic of Djibouti, your second home. Allow me to welcome you to this peace gathering organized by your Djibouti brothers and sisters who are pained by the acute sufferings of Somalia.

It is a great happiness for me to officially open this historical peace meeting, which hopefully shall act as a turning point, providing a new hope out of the desperate situation obtaining in today’s Somalia.

Brothers and sisters we meet here for an important task. We are serving a noble and just cause. WE are trying to infuse life into the almost dead body of Somalia. In other words, we are attempting to recreate Somalia’s mutilated statehood. We are embarking on a mission of revitalizing Somalia’s lost esteem, and in which people used to take pride. Resolutely we are trying to create a new life and future for the generations of Somalia’s children to come. Somalia is hanging on a precipice and has to be saved as urgently as possible.

Each participating individual of this Conference has been provided with a preciously golden opportunity. Such a person has the enviable chance of participating in a historic act that forever would be recorded in the golden pass of memory. Each individual’s name would be indelibly marked in history books.

Some of you would be accorded the honor of being the "Saviors of their Country" while others would be tainted with the Curse, “"of having Contributed to the continuation of Somalia'’ tragic night of Suffering"”. I pray to God that the vast majority of you pursue the correct path of your people’s.

A burdensome task awaits the partners involved in this matter. We Djiboutians and you as the representatives of the widest spectrum of the Somali people, as well as the International Community are all duty bound to each carry its own part in this grand plan of action.

As far as we the Citizens of Djibouti are concerned, we have carried out or part of the task, by organizing and hosting this peace Conference. As the honorable representatives of the Somali people, a heavy task awaits you ?

To underscore the crux of your tasks, I can quote a Chinese proverb which states that, a Journey of one thousand miles, begins with a step"”.

As far as we are concerned, I made an international appeal that would intimately touch upon the conscience of humainity’s duty not to sit on the fence while Somalia undergoes its specific and painful suffering and destruction. In my appeal I did not confine myself to what I state at the General Assembly of the United nations in September 1999, but subsequently launched an uninterrupted compaign in ....

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