SOMALIABRITAIN No great expectations 17th February 2012 Gaalkaayo, Puntland. An AK47 rifle with a strap embroidered with 'Somalia' leans against a wall. Sven Torfinn / Panos Image courtesy of Panos Pictures British Prime Minister David Cameron’s grand conference will bring together many parties but no one is forecasting a breakthrough After two decades of political mayhem, Somalis and more perspicacious foreign diplomats are intensely sceptical about high-level conferences. Many approach the London Conference on Somalia on 23 February with muted hopes of any political advance and say that its most important contribution will be to raise the profile of Somalia’s internal political and social crisis, plagued by intermittent conflict and chronic food shortage. British Prime Minister David Cameron and his Foreign Secretary William Hague have evidently succeeded on the promotion front. Thanks to the Foreign Office’s invitations to Arab countries, it is the first big Somalia meeting in which several Muslim states are seriously involved.