Somalia to Stick with Qatar, Turkey Despite Pressure-Foreign Affairs Minister
Somalia’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad has stressed that the country will remain neutral in the middle East crisis. He said that although there had been efforts to isolate Somalia by some states in the Red Sea, Arabia Sea and Gulf of Aqaba for maintaining Diplomatic ties with Qatar and Turkey, the country was not interested in joining any alliance that goes against the two countries. The Minister spoke during a seminar held at the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the title ‘The Horn of Africa : Prospects for Political Cooperation and Economic Integration’. He emphasized that Somalia has taken a neutral position in the Gulf crisis, saying that it is a sovereign decision and others must respect the independence of the Somali decision. Awad noted that the Gulf crisis affected Somalia because it decided to stay neutral in the dispute. Somalia is not like before and things have changed. It is keen on the independence of its decision. The minister reached out to Qatar to participate strongly in investment in various areas of maritime infrastructure and other areas, noting that Somalia has the largest beaches in the Horn of Africa after Madagascar, and has a vision to develop eight ports. He added that the Somali leadership seeks to achieve Africa comprehensive vision 2063, noting that Somalia and 44 African countries have launched a project to set up a joint African market, which will be a chance to end famine and create job opportunities for young people who make up a large proportion of the continent. The minister said that the lack of advanced infrastructure in his country will delay the achievement of the desired development sought by the political leadership, indicating that this requires countries with potential, such as Qatar and others, to consider how they would contribute to the changes that the peoples of the region aspire to. He said that Somalia looks forward a strong contribution by Qatar in support of various sectors and areas of development. On the other hand, the Somali FM said that Somalia has overcome differences with Kenya, and noted that the dispute over the maritime borders will be referred to the International Court of Justice. The seminar was opened by Director of the Diplomatic Institute Dr Abdulaziz bin Mohamed al-Horr who stressed the importance of Somalia and its role in the Horn of Africa.