Somaliland:Saudis to Counter Qatari Influence in the Horn Region with Enhanced Somaliland Relations


Somalilandsun:Hornnews – The republic of Somaliland is the new darling of the very powerful rulers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The sharp stare turned to Somaliland by the Saudi royal family is as a result of countering increased Qatari influence in the Horn of Africa region where it has very strong relations with the Federal Government of Somalia.
“To achieve this strategy the Saudis are in advanced plans to support security and numerous development projects in Somaliland” a Geeska Afrika source informs
Saudi Arabia is leading a strong coalition of Arab countries that are in great animosities with Qatar, that Has precipitated what is now officially called the GULF CRISIS.
This move was put to the test in Jeddah recently when the royal family hosted a meeting with a strong Somaliland delegation led by Vice President Abdirahman Abdilahi Sayli.
The delegation which comprised government and Opposition Political Parties Officials was in the Kingdom Following an official invitation to attend the annual pilgrimage extended through the Saudi embassy in Djibouti.
“Apart from countering the Qatari influence the Saudis also want to partake in lucrative commercial contracts similar to those of the UAE like DP world concession to manage the Berbera port and establishment of a very strategic military base in the port city” said the Geesk Afrika source.
The source narrates that during the meeting in Jeddah the Saudis in conference were mainly from the Security, Development and humanitarian support sectors, mainly the areas that the kingdom wants to pursue in its enhanced relations with Somaliland.
While the Saudis explicitly expressed their areas of interests it is not yet clear whether the VP Sayli delegation made those of Somaliland explicit, thence a yes yes we agree conclusion.
In the meantime information not yet ascertained indicate that a broad Saudi Arabia delegation comprising security, Development and humanitarian support experts is already in the capital Hargeisa.
Our source details that this team is mainly composed of Saudis but originally from somaliland.
The new state directed at Somaliland is surely a positive move considering that the Saudis and political gulf associates, the UAE, have already embraced Eritrea and Ethiopia through accords signed in Abu Dhabi and Jeddah
According to the Saudi Arabia foreign minister “The Jeddah Peace Agreement signed today before King Salman is a historic milestone for the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea and will contribute to strengthening security and stability in the region at large”
In the UAE “Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed were honored with the “Order of Zayed”, the highest civil honor in UAE, at a tripartite summit that was held in Abu Dhabi in recognition of their efforts to launch the peace process between the two countries”

All these efforts by the two gulf countries are geared towards isolating Qatar which is accused of promoting and funding terrorism.
In the Horn of Africa region only Somalia has relations with Qatar while Somaliland cut all relations with the authorities in Doha immediately the Gulf Crisis ensued.
As a measure of intent to enhanced relations with Somaliland formerly very lackluster, Saudi Arabia has so far stopped all its aid and support to projects in Somalia

In the meantime diplomatic experts in the country are keenly watching how Somaliland will grab the tiger in the tail and benefit from Saudi Arabia the second gulf country to pursue intense relations.

Yusuf M Hasan
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Twitter @somalilandsun