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EU condemns UAE for 'destabilising' Somalia over Qatar crisis

The EU on Wednesday slammed the UAE for taking retaliatory actions against Somalia. [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 July, 2018

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The European Parliament on Wednesday slammed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for taking retaliatory actions against Somalia for the country's neutral position on the ongoing blockade of Qatar.

The European Parliament on Wednesday slammed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for taking retaliatory actions against Somalia for the country's neutral position on the ongoing blockade of Qatar.

The UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar on 5 June, 2017 and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Gulf country.

The Saudi-led bloc accused Doha of supporting terrorism, a charge vehemently denied by Qatar.

"In terms of the wider confrontation between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, on the one hand, and Qatar, on the other, the Federal Government of Somalia has sought to remain neutral; whereas, in retaliation, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have ceased their regular budgetary support payments to Somalia, which further weakens the government's ability to pay the security forces," the EU resolution said.

The EU statement urged the UAE "to cease forthwith all acts of destabilisation in Somalia and respect Somalia's sovereignty and territorial integrity".

Relations between Somalia and the UAE have deteriorated since the oil-rich Gulf country began operating a major port in Somalia's breakaway territory of Somaliland last year.

The UAE has also invited Somaliland officials for state visits and is building a military base there, suggesting that the country is moving toward recognising Somaliland's independence.

Somalia announced earlier this year it would end UAE funding for its armed forces as relations between the two countries deteriorated.

Analysts also say that Somalia's refusal to take sides in the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar, which the UAE is part of, has further strained relations.

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