The European Parliament has slammed the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for slashing financial support to Somalia over its neutral position on the Gulf Crisis, Al Jazeera reported today.
Somalia “sought to remain neutral” on the ongoing Gulf Crisis, but was “deprived of regular budgetary support payments by Saudi Arabia and the UAE”.
“In terms of the wider confrontation between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and Qatar, on the other, the Federal Government of Somalia has sought to remain neutral; whereas, in retaliation, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have ceased their regular budgetary support payments to Somalia, which further weakens the government’s ability to pay the security forces,” the EU Parliament’s resolution read.
The two governments were urged to “cease forthwith all acts of destabilisation in Somalia and respect Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The blockading quartet – UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt – levied an air, land and sea blockade last summer against Qatar accusing it of supporting terrorism and allying with Iran. Qatar categorically denied the claims as baseless, and leaned towards allies for support for basic amenities such as food and dairy products. Countries in the region are currently posed with the question over which camp they are in support – Qatar or the blockading quarter.
Days after the blockade on Qatar, Somalia was reportedly offered $80 million in exchange for support of the blockading quartet.
With tensions rising sky high, Somalia went on in March this year to reject a UAE logistics company port deal in Somaliland involving Ethiopia, claiming that it undermines its unity, sovereignty and is a violation of its constitution. Somalia even went as far as passing a law in parliament to ban the UAE Company DP World, despite the company continuing its work on the port in Somaliland.
Adding to the tensions, back in April Somalia’s security forces halted a Royal Jet aircraft and seized $9.6 million it believed was intended for buying political leverage in Somalia. The incident exacerbating a rift between Somalia and the UAE.