Somalia receives $50m in new aid from Saudi Arabia | reuters | gulftoday.ae

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Wednesday October 04, 2017 - 16:16:52 in News In English
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    Somalia receives $50m in new aid from Saudi Arabia | reuters | gulftoday.ae

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MOGADISHU: Somalia has received $50 million in new aid from Saudi Arabia but the gesture does not change the central government’s decision to remain neutral in Riyadh’s dispute with fellow Gulf state Qatar, a senior Somali official said on Tuesday.

The money follows a visit to Riyadh last week by Somalia’s president and a string of declarations of support for the Saudi side in the Gulf crisis from Somalia’s semi-autonomous regions, into which Riyadh and its Gulf Arab allies have poured money.


Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman, announcing the $50 million in Saudi aid, told reporters that the government appreciated Saudi financial support and called the bilateral relationship "brotherly...and deep.”

However, he said: "There is no need for us to side with one country over the other.”

A Saudi government spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links - including air and shipping routes - with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Somali ties with wealthy Saudi Arabia have grown as it tries to rebuild after two decades of war and quell hardliner Al Shabaab insurgents. But Western powers and Turkey remain among the biggest and more prominent donors to Somalia.

Turkey opened a military base in Mogadishu on Saturday.

Last year, Somalia received a $50 million aid pledge from Saudi Arabia on the same day it announced it was cutting relations with Iran.

Somalia strategically located on the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Reuters
 


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