Somalia’s neutrality in the ongoing Gulf region crisis has generated a lot of pressure for the Horn of Africa country to join the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates faction against Qatar.
The latest call is from the autonomous Somali state of Puntland which on Wednesday called on the federal government to change its neutral position due to the good relations it has with Saudi Arabia and UAE.
“We urge the Federal Government of Somalia to reconsider its position regarding the impending crisis which, if not addressed properly, will have lasting and negative consequences for the people of Somalia,” Puntland said in a statement.
“We believe our position is to clearly stand with our partners, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” it added while calling for an end to the crisis.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, cut diplomatic relations with Qatar in June after accusing the small country of supporting Islamist militants and Iran. Qatar vehemently denies the claims.
Some African countries took sides in the diplomatic row with Chad recalling its ambassador from Qatar “for consultations” after Senegal recalled its envoy citing its “active solidarity” with Saudi Arabia.
Mauritania, a member of the Arab League, severed ties with Qatar following the lead of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt – while Gabon condemned Doha.
However, Guinean President Alpha Conde offered to mediate in the diplomatic crisis in his capacity as chairperson of the African Union to find a swift and peaceful solution.
Somalia also expressed concern and advised that it should be settled with dialogue after it expressed neutrality. This resulted in a recall of the United Arab Emirates ambassador in the capital Mogadishu.
The government of Seychelles also called on all the parties involved to engage in meaningful dialogue in order to resolve and de-escalate the current situation.
Turkey and Iran have backed Qatar by providing support after a subsequent blockade by Saudi Arabia and UAE.