Ethiopia and Sudan remain neutral in Saudi-Qatar rift

No Comment Yet

Ethiopia and other countries of the Horn have found themselves in an awkward situation in the latest diplomatic spat in the Middle East, over Qatar’s alleged ties to terrorism, it was learnt. Ethiopia and Sudan are taking a delicate balance of trying to remain neutral while Djibouti sided with Saudi by reducing its diplomatic presence in Qatar. Though the Ethiopian foreign ministry has yet to comment, there is a strong feeling among officials in the ministry that they are caught in the middle of a bewildering regional dispute, according to sources. “Ethiopia is acting with great caution and it will come up with a statement urging for dialogue,” a senior diplomat told Ethiopia Observer. Ethiopia’s dilemma is that it trying to develop political and economic ties with Qatar, while also trying to develop strategic ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. The Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani made a high profile trip to Addis Ababa two months ago.
Sudan has officially called for easing tensions in the Gulf region, President Omer al-Bashir backing Kuwaiti efforts to mediate a negotiated settlement to overcome the dispute. Somalia is in similar dilemma as it maintains relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, who have provided humanitarian assistance and budget support, and have invested in key infrastructural projects. However, it is now siding with Qatar, allowing its airspace for the Qatar Airways flights. At least 15 flights were diverted to use the airspace, an increase from one or two flights a day previously.
Several Gulf countries cut travel and embassy links with Qatar on Monday. Qatar strongly denies supporting radical Islamism. The rift has affected oil prices, travel and shipping, and has raised fears of food shortages. The emir of Kuwait is mediating in the dispute and the president of Turkey has also offered to help, saying isolation and sanctions will not resolve the crisis.

Arefayné Fantahun
Up Next

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *