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KHARTOUM, Sudan - Somalia's foreign minister and a representative of the faction that controls the country's capital signed an agreement Thursday that calls for an immediate cease-fire and confers mutual recognition on the warring parties.
"The parties have committed themselves to cease all verbal provocation and all military action," the secretary general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, said at the signing ceremony, which was presided over by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
"The two parties agreed to reach a compromise that preserves the unity and integrity of Somalia," Moussa told reporters.
He said the delegation from the Islamic Courts Union — the militia that controls the capital of Mogadishu and most of southern Somalia — agreed to recognize the legitimacy of the interim government, which is based in Baidoa, 155 miles northwest of Mogadishu.
The U.N.-backed government "recognizes the reality and existence of the Islamic Courts," Moussa said.
Moussa said both parties also agreed to prosecute war criminals and to reconvene on July 15 in Khartoum to negotiate a full peace agreement without preconditions.
Somalia's interim President Abdullahi Yusuf, who attended the ceremony, said his government intended to negotiate peace with the Islamic Courts.
"We have no interest in shedding any blood, and we will seek every possible way to preserve the life of the Somalis," Yusuf said.
Foreign Minister Abdallah Sheikh Ismail signed the agreement with the chief delegate of the Islamic Courts, Mohamed Ali Ibrahim. The two hugged each other afterward.
Originally posted by DYepes
The Islamic Courts Union has stated they will provide security and a safe environment.
We should focus on bringing this country and its people back to our global community