According to statements released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Presidency, a high-level Qatari delegation led by Qatar’s Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Dr. Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani has arrived in Somaliland.

The Qatari delegation was received by Hon. Liban Yousuf Osman, Acting and Deputy Minister of foreign affairs and International Cooperation at Egal International Airport where they proceeded to a meeting with the president of the Republic of Somaliland H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi.

The statement added that President Bihi discussed the establishment of bilateral ties with the Qatari delegation and the opening of an official diplomatic mission by Qatar in Somaliland. In addition, the two sides discussed Qatar’s charity organization, Qatar Charity, to open an office in Somaliland as well.

The boilerplate statement from the Presidency did not delve into why the Qatari delegation headed by its envoy Mediation in Conflict Resolution arrived in Somaliland when there is a major political upheaval and an armed standoff in the neighboring country of Somalia where Qatar has invested heavily in Farmajo and has propped up Villa Somalia.

Qatar’s Ambassador to Somalia Mr. Hassan bin Hamza Hashem is among the Qatari delegation that arrived in Somaliland and met with President Muse Bihi Abdi. Mr. Hashem has been implicated in the shooting death of Paul Anthony Formosa a Construction Manager working for Port, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) contracted by DP World for the construction of the Bossasso port in the Puntland Federal Member State of Somalia.

Although the Gulf crises between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on one side and Qatar on the other have subsided, Somaliland has officially sided with the Emirates at the time. DP World has been Somaliland’s largest direct foreign investor to date with nearly half a billion US dollars to expand and renovate Berbera Port.

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