In a statement issued on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the independence of former British Somaliland, the government of Somaliland said that the “independence of Somaliland and its success does not see the Djibouti conference as being pertinent to its affairs or destiny”. It said the decisions and recommendations made at the Arta talks were irrelevant to Somaliland. “Although Somaliland encourages and supports anyone working for peace and order in Somalia, it sees the Djibouti meeting as a misguided one... We see this as blatant interference in the affairs of a people who have agreed on their destiny,” the statement said. Participants in the two-month talks in Djibouti agreed on Monday on a two-week schedule to set up a new provisional government for Somalia, with the election of a Transitional National Assembly anticipated by 10 July and the election of a president and prime minister by 13 July. The authorities in Somaliland and Puntland have declined to take part in the talks.