HARGEISA – The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has officially announced that they’re siding with Saudi Arabia and the UAE against the State of Qatar.
Foreign Minister Saad Ali Shire made the announcement at Somaliland’s Presidential Palace, following an emergency cabinet meeting.
Somaliland’s Council of Ministers passed the following resolutions on the Gulf diplomatic crisis:
- The Republic of Somaliland fully supports Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate’s stance on relations with Qatar.
- As of Today (June 10th, 2017), no airline is allowed to use Somaliland’s airspace without the permission of the Government of the Republic of Somaliland.
- The Republic of Somaliland is an independent country, not a federal state of Somalia. The Government of Somalia cannot grant any permission to any country or airline to use Somaliland’s airspace.
Many expected that Somaliland would side with the Saudi-led coalition, as the UAE was granted permission to build a military base in Somaliland in February, and has close relations with the Government of the Republic of Somaliland.
The Government of Somalia announced earlier this week that they will remain neutral. Their decision was also widely expected, as Somalia has close ties with Qatar. Turkey, another close ally of Somalia, is also siding with Qatar, which may have influenced Somalia’s decision to not pick sides.
— Foreign Affairs (@MofaSomalia) June 7, 2017
According to Harun Maruf, a senior journalist with VOA Somali’s Service, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia asked Somalia to cut ties with Qatar or downgrade relations. Now that Somalia has rejected both offers, it is highly likely that Saudi Arabia will reconsider their relations with Somalia, and move towards strengthening ties with Somaliland.
Diplomatic sources: Saudi Arabia asked Somalia to either cut ties with Qatar or downgrade relations; Somalia rejected both propositions.
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) June 9, 2017