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Somali President: Al Qaeda not Present in Somalia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al- Awsat- In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, President of Somalia Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed denied that Al Qaeda had any presence in his country saying “We know that the Al Qaeda organization is not present inside Somalia, but there may be those that sympathize with the words of Osama Bin Laden, or his way of thinking, or his actions. Osama Bin Laden, as a Muslim, should not incite a country that is recovering from problems, or its people, to fighting. He knows the position of Islamic Shariaa law on [doing] this.”

Sheikh Ahmed also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that he was not afraid of assassination attempts having taken office as President of Somalia, saying that his task was to serve the people of Somalia.

Sheikh Ahmed, speaking about the problem of piracy in Somalia, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “the international community did not do its duty and support the Somalia Transitional National government to combat piracy.” The Somali President stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that it was within his power to “eradicate this phenomenon [of piracy] which has afflicted the movement of commercial and nautical navigation in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean if it received the necessary financial and logistical support”.

Sheikh Ahmed added that the main cause for piracy was foreign ships violating the fishing laws in Somali waters, and the damage [this caused] to the interests of local fishermen. He added that piracy was also a reaction to the dumping of nuclear and chemical waste in Somali territorial waters.

Somali President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi Arabian role is important in solving the crisis in Somalia, and that he intends to visit Saudi Arabia some time in the future.