On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I want to congratulate the members of the Somali National Constituent Assembly and the Somali people on yesterday's historic vote to approve Somalia’s Provisional Constitution. By laying the foundations for a mutually agreed upon system of governance, this vote moves Somalia closer towards lasting stability.
Made up of 825 Somalis from across the country, the National Constituent Assembly represented the diverse concerns of the nation as it reviewed and ultimately approved the Provisional Constitution. Despite significant logistical difficulties, political pressure, death threats, and two attacks on the National Constituent Assembly venue, this vote affirms that the Somali people will not be intimidated by violence as they work to rebuild their country. The people of the United States applaud the members of the National Constituent Assembly for their dedication and conviction.
The next step in Somalia's political transition is for Somalia's traditional elders to select a new parliament that will elect a speaker of parliament and president. We urge that these remaining tasks be completed quickly and transparently so that the transition ends on schedule, and Somalia is able to usher in a new era of governance that is more responsive, representative, and accountable. Our support for Somalia and the Somali people will continue beyond the end of the transition. We stand with the people of Somalia on your path toward peace, stability, prosperity.