Somali PM 'open to dialogue with al-Shabab'

Abdiweli Mohamed Ali tells Al Jazeera he is ready to talk but rebel group must take the initiative.

    Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Somalia's interim prime minister, says his government is open to the idea of dialogue with rebel group al-Shabab.

    "We are open to dialogue with [al-Shabab]. If they take that route then we are ready for that, but we can't force them to have it with us," Ali said in an interview with Al Jazeera's Peter Greste.

    "It has to come from them, they have to accept that reality. So far they [Al-Shabab] have not taken that option.

    Ali told Al Jazeera that positive things were happening in Somalia for the first time in decades.

    "Things are different now in Somalia, because Somalis have been in this mess for the last 20 years and they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They are ready to move forward.

    "For the last month or so, progress and positive things have taken place in the country, for the first time in 20 years we have the first all-Somali consultive meeting in Mogadishu. Within three days they have produced a document called the road map."

    But Ali said parliamentary reform was still needed, and that current legislators needed to be convinced of the need for reform.

    "There should be a reform of the Parliament, but we have to convince the parliament itself that reform is important, and that it is in the interest of the Somali people," Ali said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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