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Lavrov calls for strengthening Somalia’s army

March 03, 10:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's foreign minister expressed concern over the armaments build-up in the Horn of Africa

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MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Russia is calling on the international community to undertake measures to strengthen Somalia’s army and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Ethiopia’s The Reporter.

AMISOM’s military contingent remains the key component of supporting the Somalian federal government in fighting the al-Shabab terrorist group, which threatens the entire region, he said.

"In the current situation in that country, Russia’s position is that the international community should continue to undertake measures to raise the potential of the Somalian army and AMISOM’s units," the minister said.

At the same time, he pointed to the situation on the Horn of Africa, where inter-state conflicts, territorial disputes and major security challenges continue. The challenges include terrorism, piracy, trans-border crime, drug trafficking. "The aforementioned factors remain the main reasons of the growing military expenses in the region, and explain the numerous international military and naval bases," Lavrov said.

"Russia is traditionally in favour of settlement of disputes by exclusively peaceful, political-diplomatic means," the Russian foreign minister said. "Thus, building up the armaments - both in the Horn of Africa’s region, and in other parts of the world - causes deep concerns, since, moreover, those allocated huge resources could be used for the social, economic and humanitarian purposes."

Every country, he continued, has the right to set optimal parameters for own security. "Our position is based on the necessity to follow the key principle of security’s indivisibility.".

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