FM: Qatar’s efforts focus on establishing good relations between Somalia and Kenya

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Doha: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said that Qatar wants the continuation of normal relations between Somalia and Kenya and has encouraged both countries to strengthen their communication channels for better relations.

“Now the task to maintain good relations falls on the shoulders of two countries. Qatar will follow these developments in the relationships and if there is any need for Qatar to intervene, we will keep supporting these efforts. However, we hope that there will be no need for that,” said H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in an interview to Al Jazeera.

He also thanked the Presidents of the two countries for showing political will to restore ties. “The tension on the border between Somalia and Kenya was one of the reasons for severing relations and there is a will to solve it,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He said that the efforts, made by Qatar, focused on getting diplomatic relations between Somalia and Kenya restored which were disrupted due to tension in relations.

“The task of the Special Envoy of the State of Qatar was to carry the message of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Presidents of Somalia and Kenya,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

He said that the message to the President of Somalia focused on deescalating tension inside Somalia. “It also encouraged President of Somali and political parties on dialogue and agreeing on upcoming elections. The message encouraged people of Somalia to restore relations and deescalate tension among themselves and with Kenya,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

However, he said, the message to the President of Kenya focused on supporting efforts in Somalia and backing and restoring relations with Somalia.

“We in Qatar enjoy friendship and brotherly relations with both the countries and we see that the deadlock in relations is neither in the interest of the two countries nor in the favor of the region, especially Somalia because of its political situation. There is also concern from the international community about these developments,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

He said that the positive steps were taken after the visit of the Qatar’s envoy and the assignment of the Somali Prime Minister to oversee the electoral process and security arrangements. “These were welcomed by the political parties and there was extensive dialogue between the envoy and the state governors, candidates and other political parties.”

To a question about the arrest warrant by Attorney-General against former finance minister, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that the State of Qatar respects rule of law and law is above all, and no one is above the law. “Qatar is a State of institutions and the case of former finance minister is directly related to public service position as finance minister.”

However, he said, the companies and other institutions of which he was a member are following clear governance mechanism and there is a regular review of them and they are functioning normally and their activities are not affected by the absence of any person for any reason.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs added: “The investigation is still going on and we cannot comment on the content of the investigation.”

He said that big organizations like Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), and the institutions owned by the Authority, are conducting their business as normal without any impact neither in the past nor at present.

The Peninsula Qatar