Qatar to send delegation to Somalia amid worst political crisis


MOGADISHU, Somalia - In an unusual move, Qatar is dispatching a top official to Somalia launch a mediation process in Mogadishu after the electoral stalemate that put the country on the brink.

According to the sources, Dr. Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, who is the Special Envoy of the Foreign Ministry for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution will arrive in the capital next week.

Al Qahtani will be meeting with top government leaders and members of the international community during his two-day stay which comes amid electoral and political standoff in the Horn of Africa nation.

The simmering tension in Mogadishu has forced some 100,000 civilians to flee their homes after opposition fighters took over control of key villages in the capital from the government during clashes.

Qatar has developed a close relationship with the outgoing Somali government since the election of Farmajo as Somali president in February 2017, barely three months before the Gulf diplomatic crisis broke out.

Mogadishu has developed close relations with Doha and Turkey and took a firm stance against the long ally of Saudi Arabia and UAE's request to cut off all ties with the tiny rich state of Qatar.

In exchange, Mogadishu received support in form of humanitarian and financial assistance backed by a defense agreement from Doha in reward for its decision.

In 2017 Turkey opened its biggest overseas military base, in Mogadishu, with the capacity to train 10,000 troops. The move came after the UAE brought an end to military cooperation with the country.


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