UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon opened an international conference on ending instability in Somalia on Saturday with an appeal for global support for its transitional federal government. "The only way to restore stability is to support this government in its reconciliation effort and its fight against extremism," Ban told delegates from 55 nations and 12 international organisations in Istanbul. "If the international community acts now, I think it can make the difference," he said. "I think this conference offers the international community an opportunity to show the Somalian leadership that we are ready to walk with them in partnership." The fragile transitional government was established in January 2009, but its authority -- challenged by Islamist insurgents -- only extends over a small part of the capital Mogadishu with the backing of African Union troops.