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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 18:38 GMT
In quotes: Reaction to Somali strikes
Air strikes took place on Monday in southern Somalia by US forces who said they were targeting suspected al-Qaeda leaders.

Below are reactions to the strikes and the possibility of deploying a peacekeeping force:

UK PRIME MINISTER, TONY BLAIR

What is in the interests of everyone in Somalia is to have a peace process that works properly.

Some of those extremists who have been using methods of violence in order to get their way in Somalia pose a threat not just to the outside world but to people in Somalia as well.

When we look round the world today, in different parts of the world we can see this global terrorism. It is a clear ideology, it is a clear strategy.

I think it is right that wherever it is attempting to warp local decision-making and prevent people getting the type of life they want, we should be there standing up and supporting those who are combating that terrorism and giving people the chance to live in better circumstances.

UN SECRETARY GENERAL SPOKESMAN, FARHAN HAQ

Regardless of what the motives of this reported military action were, the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is concerned about the new dimension that this kind of action could introduce to the conflict, and the possible escalation of hostilities that may result.

He is also concerned about the impact that this would have on the civilian population in southern Somalia and he regrets the reported loss of civilian lives.

The secretary general believes strongly that what is most required now in Somalia, rather than military action, is a political process that can lead to genuine reconciliation and long-term stability in Somalia.

US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE, JENDAYI FRAZER

It is obvious we need someone else to go in. The Somali people do not have a national army or a national police.

We have to prevent the return to warlordism and so we need to get some type of neutral force in there now. Some people would like the United States to lead on this issue of Somalia.

I would prefer for us to lead from behind, and I mean by that pushing the Somali people first, pushing the sub-region next and then mobilising the resources of the international community.

EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF, JAVIER SOLANA

I say very clearly that at the moment there are some countries ready to help in deploying troops.

The list of countries includes the United States with $14m and the European Union with $15m.

So we have more or less $30m and I don't know whether that will be enough, so we must have other contributors to help with a rapid deployment of troops.

SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, NKOSAZANA ZUMA

The UN takes a long time. Even if it were to take a decision today, it will be a long time - we will be well into the middle of the year before they can do anything.

So our view is that we must expedite the deployment of those who are ready now - and the Security Council, the UN, can give them support.

They can give them the resources to be able to undertake that mandate - we have no problems with that - but we think that the deployment should happen with some speed.

YEMENI FOREIGN MINISTER, ABU BAKR AL-QIRBI

Yemen was hoping that the Islamic Courts and the interim government would have settled their differences through the negotiating table. Unfortunately this did not happen.

Now we have to deal with the situation as it is, and we will have to work on getting everybody concerned in Somalia to negotiate the future management of Somalia, to restore peace and security, and to put the interests of Somalia above the interests of clans or political parties or ideologies.

ETHIOPIAN PM, MELES ZENAWI

We would, under normal circumstances, prefer that our troops do the hunting, because on the ground they see who is who, they know who the target is. Intelligence can be faulty.

Even the most modern planes can make mistakes. And therefore I would not want this to be a normal practice. But this was not a normal practice - this was a target of opportunity.

The operations so far have not put us in an uncomfortable situation, but they may in the future, if they hit the wrong target.

So I would very much hope that they would be very selective in their activities and make sure that there are no civilian casualties in the exercise.






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