MOGADISHU – A Federal Member of Somali Parliament, Hon. Ahmed Mo’alim Fiqi has strongly slammed on Friday the leaders of three semi-autonomous regions for cutting ties with Qatar.
Hon. Fiqi said that he was against the Galmudug State statement on Wednesday saying it stood with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Last month, two other States in Somalia also declared siding with the UAE and Saudi Arabia over the Gulf state’s dispute with other Arab states.
He responded on his Facebook on Friday by saying only Somalia government had the authority to speak on foreign affairs.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt cut political and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of “supporting terrorism” and their regional rival, Iran – charges that Qatar vehemently denies.
The spat over this crisis in volatile but strategically located Somalia illustrated how far the political ripples from the Gulf dispute have spread.
Somalia’s open stance is important for Qatar – Somalia’s airspace remains open for Qatar Airways, a critical lifeline amid the blockade.
Somalia’s position also underlines its delicate position – dependent on trade from Saudi Arabia, but increasingly close to Turkey, which is backing Qatar in the dispute.
The legislator’s remarks came a day after Somali authorities declared it was determined to stay neutral in the Gulf state’s dispute with other Arab states.
Reporting by Abdirizak Mohamud Tuuryare