Somalia's Puntland Backs Saudi Allies, Calls Mogadishu to Reconsider Qatar Ties

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Wednesday August 16, 2017 - 22:00:25 in Latest News by
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    Somalia's Puntland Backs Saudi Allies, Calls Mogadishu to Reconsider Qatar Ties

    GAROWE (Somali Update Online) — Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland has backed the Saudi-led coalition that severed ties the tiny Gulf nation of Qatar amid the on-going Gulf crisis.

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Puntland President Abdiweli Gaas, also served as former Prime Minister. | File photo.
GAROWE (Somali Update Online) — Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland has backed the Saudi-led coalition that severed ties the tiny Gulf nation of Qatar amid the on-going Gulf crisis.
In a statement on Wednesday, Puntland, a key member of Somalia's federal republic has called the Federal Government of Somalia to reconsider its position regarding crisis, saying that "if not addressed properly, will have lasting and negative consequences for the people of Somalia."
The Qatar crisis began June 4 when a group of six Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, announced they were cutting all diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the country of funding terrorist groups. The allegations have since been proven unfounded. After a trip to Doha, a team of US intelligence officials reached the conclusion that Qatar’s state news agency had been hacked, most likely by a Russian interest. The hacking involved the planting of fake news which has been discredited.
From the start of the blockade, Somalia has remained neutral, urging the countries involved to find a speedy solution through dialogue. In a statement in early June, the Somali Foreign Ministry suggested to assist settle the Gulf diplomatic crisis.
"We acknowledge the fact that the Middle East issue will not be resolved anytime soon, and the continuing crisis will have security as well as developmental implications throughout Somalia." said the Puntland statement signed by presidential spokesman.

Puntland asserts that it has been partner with the oil-rich Saudi and UAE in the areas of security, trade and key developmental projects.
"It's widely known that Somalia has historically enjoyed good relations with the people and governments of UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia." the statement goes on "Therefore, we believe our position is to clearly stand with our partners, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE".
Mogadishu maintains friendly ties with all the five countries, as Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo visited Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar a month after his election victory in February this year.
A renowned diplomat and Former Somalia Foreign Minister Abdisalam Omar Hadliye also called Somali government to play an arbitration role during the new crisis within the Gulf States.
In mid June, some regional media reported that President Farmajo has stood his ground rejecting $80 million offer to cut the country’s ties with blockaded Qatar.
But according to one Somali diplomat, UAE which is rumoured to be unhappy with President Farmajo is now pushing pressure through the local Somalia states.
While enjoying UAE's financial support and training for the country's security forces, Somalia also sees growing influence by Qatari sympathizers among them the current Villa Somalia Chief of Staff Fahad Yasin, a former Al-Jazeera employee, who not only secured funds for Farmajo's election but also maintains good contacts with Doha.

- SOMALI UPDATE ONLINE -


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