Qatar lauded for restoring Somalia-Kenya diplomatic ties

Qatar has developed close relations with Somalia since Farmajo assumed office in 2017.

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Qatar lauded for restoring Somalia-Kenya diplomatic ties

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Former Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke has praised Qatar's mediation in the resumption of diplomatic relations between Somalia and Kenya after six months of tension.

Sharmarke who served as PM twice 2009-2010 and 2014-2017 lauded the move as an important step towards the improvement of Somalia's relations with neighboring countries and the with the world.

"It is good news for the resumption of diplomatic relations with Kenya. I commend Qatar's mediation efforts," the former prime minister tweeted, adding, "To strengthen our trade, as we embark on the development process, it is imperative that we re-establish our diplomatic relations with the world. "

Somalia announced the decision to normalize its relationship with Kenya last week after a Qatari delegation led by the country's Foreign Affairs Envoy for Counter-Terrorism and Conflict Mediation Mutlaq Al-Qahtani arrived in Mogadishu and held talks with outgoing president Farmajo and PM Roble as well as the opposition parties. 

Somalia and Kenya had strained ties since December last year after Mogadishu severed diplomatic engagement with the Horn of Africa nation, accused Nairobi of interfering in its internal affairs, including the election.

Kenya and Somalia have a longstanding unresolved dispute over a 100,000km square sea border thought to contain hydrocarbons reserves with each country accusing the other of auctioning the oil and gas to foreign firms. 

Nairobi has been making efforts to settle the maritime boundary dispute with Somalia outside the International Court of Justice for ten years but it had failed after Mogadishu submitted the case to the UN's top judicial body, based in The Hague in 2014.


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