U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Saturday for the world community to support the current Somalia government as the best chance to stabilise the country.
"The Transitional Federal Government represents Somalia's best chance in years to escape from the endless cycle of war and humanitarian disaster," Ban told the Political, Security and Reconstruction Conference for Somalia in Istanbul.
"The only way to restore stability is to support this government -- both in its reconciliation efforts and, where necessary, its fight against extremism."
Ban called for the authorities in Somalia to overcome their differences.
"I urge the Somali authorities to demonstrate the will and commitment to work together, resolve their internal disputes, and unite against the threat of extremism," he said.
Speaking separately at the conference, President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said work was under way to elect a new speaker of parliament, and appealed for help from the conference delegates in bringing stability.
"What we would like from you is to help us bring peace and stability to our country," he said.
Somalia has been mired in violence and lacked effective central government since the overthrow of a dictator in 1991.
Ban called on the government to improve public services, start paying regular salaries to security forces and continue with efforts to build up security sector institutions.
Somalia Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Jama told Reuters the security issue needed to be prioritised to achieve stability.
"If we take over a province or an area, we have to create life, employment, rebuild schools, hospitals and airports so that the people can say, yes we have peace. That is when we can achieve permanent stability," he said.
More than 40 percent of the population -- 3.4 million people -- require humanitarian assistance, including 1.4 million uprooted by the insurgency.
The international community, including the United Nations, has been trying to resolve and contain the crisis for the past 20 years, with more than $8 billion spent in various forms of assistance including humanitarian aid.
ReutersLast Mod: 22 Mayıs 2010, 18:36