Somali president visits Qatar amid regional tensions

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo left the country on Sunday (13 May) for an official two-day visit to Qatar amid tensions between Somalia and Doha’s regional rival, the United Arab Emirates.

During his visit, Mr Farmajo will hold talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and top Qatari government officials about the two Arab League-member countries’ ties.

He is being accompanied by senior Somali cabinet members, including ports and planning ministers.

Mr Farmajo originally planned to visit Qatar in March but postponed his trip following a dispute between Somalia’s legislative and executive branches of government, pitting the prime minister, Ali Hassan Kheire, against former speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari.

His visit to the Middle Eastern country comes amid tense relations between Somalia and the UAE, recently leading to Abu Dhabi ending a military training programme in Somalia and closing a hospital it ran in Mogadishu after a series of bilateral diplomatic disagreements.

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