Saudi Arabia still seeks to mediate Somalia and UAE tension

MOGADISHU, Somalia – A high level delegation led by Somalia has flown to Saudi’s capital, Riyadh on Saturday after an official invitation.

The delegation led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia Mahdi Mohamed Guiled departed from the capital of Mogadishu.

Somali Minister of Finance Abdirahman Du’alle Beileh says the delegation will be attending key meeting in Saudi, in a Twitter post.

The visit comes as Saudi Arabia sought to mediate a rift between Somalia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over a Berber Port deal in Somaliland.

The escalation came after months of building friction in Somalia as the Gulf crisis pitting Arab powers against each other spills over into the fragile state, whose position of neutrality has not gone down well at home or with its allies.

Somalia escalated last year, the rift by creating a law to ban UAE port operator DP World as 168 of country’s lawmakers voted for the law.

Tensions between Somalia and the United Arab Emirates ratcheted up as Mogadishu ditched a military deal with its ally and seized millions of dollars in cash from an Emirati plane.

The UAE has also suspended its running military camp in Mogadishu where it trains Somali soldiers, who are also paid by Emirati officials.