(AGI) Rome, July 2 - After more than 20 years, Rome is onceagain hosting independence day for the Federal Republic ofSomalia. The gala evening took place on Tuesday at the ConvittoNazionale with hundreds of guests, among whom was the presidentof the Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, Pier FerdinandoCasini, and many businessmen and representatives from a numberof embassies. Aside from some typical Somali dishes, servedafter 9 p.m. out of respect for Ramadan, the Abruzzoassociation, Ars Cibandi, presented an excellent buffetfeaturing specialties of that region. The independencecelebrations mark July 1, 1960 when Italian and BritishSomaliland united to form the Republic of Somalia and signals arenewed and ever increasing interest Italy has for the Horn ofAfrica. This interest is attested by the imminent reopening ofthe Italian embassy and the visit by Deputy Foreign MinisterLapo Pistelli to Mogadishu on Monday. The Somali charged'affairs, Sofia Mohamed Abdul, thanked the Italian governmentand people for their support during the difficult transitionperiod, which was threatened by the terrorism of the al-ShebaabIslamic militants and hoped Italy would be in the forefront ofinvestors in the east African country. Somalia, said BarbaraContini, former governor in southern Iraq and an Africa expert,also through her work with the Directorate General forDevelopment Cooperation (DGCS), is trying to start over,especially internationally and shows it wants to escape fromthe long state of war. However, she added, "the situation isstill volatile" because there is no effective control over itsterritory and borders. (AGI). .