Mogadishu, Somalia, June 12, 2017 – Somalia on Sunday rejected an $80 million offer from Saudi Arabia to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, according to local media.
Somali President Mohammed Abdullah Farmajo was put under “pressure” by Riyadh to sever their political relations with Qatar, Somalia Today reported.
“There was pressure put on the Somali government by Saudi Arabia to reverse Somalia’s decision to stay neutral in the siege imposed by some Arab governments on the State of Qatar,” the newspaper quoted unnamed sources.
A journalist for the New Khalij news outlet, Jaber Al-Harimi, confirmed the Somali President’s dismissal of the multi-million offer.
“After two hours of enticement, Farmajo rejected the tempting offer,” Harimi stated.
Moreover, Saudi’s Foreign Minister is expected to arrive to put more pressure on Somalia regarding the matter.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and a few other nations cut ties with Doha last Monday, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.
Qatar denied the assertions made against it, labeling the decision from its neighboring countries to sever ties “unjustified” and with “no basis in fact.”
Following the fall out between the Gulf Arab nations, Somalia expressed its neutral stance and called for dialogue to end the diplomatic crisis.
Qatari officials arrived in Somalia on Sunday to express their gratitude and encourage Farmajo to maintain his position against the boycott.
Somalia also allowed Doha the use of its airspace where “at least 15 Qatari planes flew through Somali Airspace on the first day of the blockade,” an aviation authority said.
Meanwhile, Somaliland backed the embargo against Qatar, siding with allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE by blocking its airspace.
“The Republic of Somaliland fully supports Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ stance on relations with Qatar,” a statement from Somaliland’s Council of Ministers read.
Editing by Ava Homa