The first Somali-born member of Finland's parliament has been appointed the country's special representative on peace mediation in the Horn of Africa, the northeastern region where Somalia is located, reports Anadolu Agency.
Suldaan Said Ahmed will focus on supporting peace processes in one of Africa's volatile regions, said the Finnish Foreign Ministry.
Finland said it has longstanding relations with several countries in the region.
"The challenges faced by the fragile region include many political and armed conflicts, in addition to which the region suffers from the worst drought for decades," said Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. "Peace mediation is one of the priorities in Finland's foreign and security policy."
The appointment supports Finland's efforts to further deepen relations with countries in the region, promote peaceful solutions to conflicts as part of comprehensive security, and highlight issues related to the region's climate security and the humanitarian situation, said Haavisto.
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It is an unsalaried post that Said Ahmed will manage alongside his duties as an MP.
Said Ahmed told Anadolu Agency that his appointment comes at a critical time, as the region faces multiple problems, including conflicts.
"I am happy to be appointed in this position and I will undertake my duties and work with regional authorities to solve outstanding issues," he said.
Said Ahmed said he will soon visit the region and meet authorities to discuss issues and relations between "our countries."
He said he will also work on how to get women and young men involved in peace-building and peace mediation in the region.