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Ellison: Remittances To Somalia Still An Issue

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(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rep. Keith Ellison says officials in Washington are still trying to find a way for Somalis in the U.S. to safely and efficiently send remittances back home.

The Somali money transfer businesses in Minnesotashut down for more than two weeks earlier this year when the bank that facilitates the transfers closed their accounts. The businesses have reopened, but are being cautious.

Ellison told reporters Thursday that he and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken met with a U.S. Treasury official to talk about solutions.

Among them, officials are discussing a possible memorandum of understanding with banks. There is also talk of a possible license that banks could get on humanitarian grounds.

Ellison says no solution has been reached, but remittances are vital to Somalia, which is experiencing famine.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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