The day after the victorious attack by the Somali government's troops, in which they regained control of the country with the help of Ethiopia, Europeans are trying to agree on a common position for the next steps despite the differing views on the US strategy in the region. European members of the international contact group for Somalia, which has gradually established itself over the past few months, gave a preliminary assessment of the situation when in Brussels on 3 January before a meeting of all participants scheduled in Nairobi (Kenya) on 5 January.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Foreign Affairs Minister and current holder of the EU Presidency, Louis Michel, the EU's Development Commissioner and Italian, Norwegian and British representatives exchanged information about the situation and the role that Europeans could play, both on a political and humanitarian level. At the heart of the debates was how to support the Somali government which is now back in power after the collapse of the Islamic tribunals, defeated during the attack on 20 December, with the support of Addis Ababa and the blessing of the United States, as part of their war against terror'.

In June 2006, the Islamic tribunals conquered most of south and central Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu. The transition government, set up in 2004, in fact only controlled the region ofaBaidoa, until the fighting over the past few days completely turned things around. According to western information...

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