Somalia has received a $50 million aid from Saudi Arabia but has decided to stay neutral in the ongoing Gulf crisis. The aid by Saudi comes after Somalian President visit to Saudi.
Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman said that the government appreciated the aid 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”.
Somalia’s neutrality is vital for important for Qatar as Somali air space remains open for Qatar Airways, a very important lifeline against the blockade. Somalia is also strategically located on the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Somalia is in a tricky situation as it relies on a significant trade with Saudi Arabia but is also getting close to Turkey, which is supporting Qatar in the ongoing crisis.
Last year, Somalia received a $50 million aid pledge from Saudi Arabia on the same day it announced it was cutting relations with Saudi rival Iran.