US urges Somali leaders to hold elections immediately.

MOGADISHU, Somalia-Expressing concern over the lingering electoral impasse in Somalia, the US on Friday urged the Somali leaders to immediately hold transparent and inclusive elections.

“We call on Somalia’s federal and member state leaders to set aside narrow political objectives, uphold their responsibilities to the people of Somalia, and agree to immediately hold transparent and inclusive elections,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement issued by the US State Department.

The US said the current impasse in Somalia undermines progress made to date, delays reforms urgently needed for Somalia to continue on the path to full debt relief, and hinders the fight against terrorism.

“The United States supports the right of Somali citizens to protest peacefully and firmly opposes the use of violence by any party,” added the statement.

The US urged Somalia’s leaders to safeguard the country’s future and reach an agreement to immediately conduct parliamentary and presidential elections.

The Horn of African country witnessed a political stalemate after presidential and parliamentary elections were delayed and the president’s constitutional mandate expired on Feb. 8.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed has called on regional leaders to hold talks to end the political deadlock.

On Thursday, opposition leaders in Somalia also announced a new opposition political alliance, National Salvation Council, led by Senate Speaker Abdi Hashi, to find a political consensus imperative for holding elections in the country.

Source: Anadolu Agency