MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has received a warm welcome upon his arrival late on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi.
PM Roble flew to Abu Dhabi after receiving an invitation, amid an election turmoil at home and a bitter feud between him and his President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
Sunday’s trip is the PM’s first visit to the United Arab Emirates since taking office in September 2020.
Mr. Roble is scheduled to hold talks with top UAE officials, discussing relations, elections and ways to speed up humanitarian efforts to help the drought-stricken regions in Somalia.
The maiden trip comes weeks after Roble apologized to the UAE for the seizure of $9.6 million cash in April 2018 and announced that his government would return the money to Abu Dhabi authorities.
But, Mogadishu’s Benadir regional court has on Sunday ordered the central bank and the minister of finance not to release the seized money as an investigation was underway.
Somali government stored the money at the central bank that triggered diplomatic spat between Abdu Dhabi and Mogadishu.
In a statement, the UAE responded the seizure of its money by closing a military facility and a hospital in the capital Mogadishu.
Somalia has accused the United Arab Emirates of fueling a political stand-off and opposition protests that are threatening the African nation’s stability.
The political tension between between president Farmajo and his Prime Minister Roble appears to be affecting earlier government decisions, including the seizure of UAE’s $9.6 million and ONLF issue.