Mogadishu (HOL) – Qatari’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Soltan Bin Saad Al-Maurikhi arrived in Mogadishu with a small delegation on Sunday to discuss bilateral relations in the midst of a growing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.
The Somali government, which maintains strong relations with the two oil-rich Gulf neighbours officially adopted a neutral stance in the spat, urging both sides to settle their differences through dialogue.
“The Federal Republic of Somalia deeply concerned about the diplomatic row between the brotherly Arab countries” the statement goes on to say that “Somalia calls to all countries involved to settle their differences through dialogue and within the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation”.
At the meeting, Al-Maurikhi hailed Somalia’s decision to not sever ties with Qatar.
Djibouti, Somalia’s neighbour to the north announced on Wednesday of this week it would downgrade its diplomatic relations with Qatar.
The self-declared state of Somaliland voted on Saturday to support the Saudi-led coalition against Qatar and moved to ban Qatar from its airspace.
Earlier this week, a large delegation of Somali government ministers travelled to Saudi Arabia to discuss development and investment projects with Saudi counterparts; part of a whooping mega-billion-dollar cash injection promised by the Saudi’s.
Qatar also used Somali airspace immediately after a host of nations cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and expelled Qatari planes from their airspace.
Sources say the meeting was arranged between the new chief of staff, Fahad Yassin, who once worked as a journalist with Qatar government-owned Al Jazeera.