Somalia president speaks to thousands in Minnesota

12:47 PM, Jan 19, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Somalia's president is calling on Somalis living in Minnesota to help rebuild their war-torn homeland.

A day after the U.S. recognized Somalia's government for the first time in two decades, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud spoke to about 4,000 people Friday night in Minneapolis.

Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the U.S.

Mohamud said in English it was, "the beginning of a new foundation." But most of the speech was in Somali.

Omar Jamal, first secretary of the Somali Mission to the United Nations, says the president thanked the crowd and asked that they help rebuild Somalia with an emphasis on security, the economy and judicial system.

On Thursday, Mohamud joined Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington to announce the change in diplomatic relations.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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