- Somali Prime Minister, Nur Hassan Hussein, has disclosed his government's readiness to engage armed opposition groups to talks as a means of nailing the ongoing conflict in the country.
"From now on we are planning to elaborate a strategy of conciliation that will be all-inclusive," Somali Premier said, disclosing that the talks would not be very far away now.
In an interview in Brussels, Hussein has rejected a proposal by an exiled Somali opposition Islamist, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed that the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops should become a precondition for talks.
Ahmed, the leader of the Islamic Courts Union, was ousted from power in 2006 after the intervention of Ethiopian forces backing the interim government of Abdullahi Yusuf. The Islamists took control of the capital Mogadishu for six months.
The former Islamist leader on Friday stressed that talks could only take place provided Ethiopian troops have withdrawn and war crimes punished.
Hussein said although one of the points to be discussed would be the Ethiopian troops, but the "first condition should be that we have to talk and agree about something."
The ousting of the Islamic regime followed bloody and destructive insurgency in Somali, forcing tens of thousands to flee the capital.
Somalia has been bereft of a proper functioning government since the country's former dictator, Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.
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