Thank you very much indeed, Mr President.
Welcome to our colleagues from Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia. I’d like to thank Council members for their unanimous support for this resolution. It lifts sanctions on Eritrea. It sets out the Council’s continued support for efforts to improve peace and security in Somalia.
The agreement to lift sanctions on Eritrea recognises the improvements in regional peace and security and the positive steps Eritrea has taken to meet the demands of the Security Council. It is right, in the light of such developments, we reconsider the measures. It is also right that we continue to urge dialogue between Eritrea and Djibouti on the Djiboutian combatants missing in action and on the resolution of their border dispute. We look forward to continued efforts to normalize relations between both countries and we stand ready to assist.
Turning to Somalia, we condemn in the strongest terms the horrific attacks in Mogadishu on Friday. It’s clear that Al-Shabaab continues to pose a serious threat to the peace and stability of Somalia and the region. This resolution underlines our full support for the Somali authorities in their efforts to combat this threat.
In this context, we welcome the progress to date on security reform. Further progress is now essential to implement the National Security Architecture and make full use of integrated regional Somali forces to deliver a successful transition to Somalia-led security. Coordinated international engagement will remain key.
We also look forward to further cooperation between the Somali authorities and the reconstituted Panel of Experts on the implementation of the arms embargo.
Mr President, I think the countries concerned and the region deserve to be congratulated on the important steps forward that they have taken that have made this resolution possible today. Not only is it a very important step for the countries in the region, I think it sends a helpful wider signal to the international community that if the right steps are taken, sanctions can be lifted.
The United Kingdom has the pleasure to continue to offer its full support to these Somali authorities, the Djiboutian and Eritrean authorities, the Sanctions Committee and a Panel of Experts in their efforts to support peace and stability.