Somali government and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to enhance their relations following a meeting between Somali foreign minister, Abdisaid Muse Ali and UAE state foreign minister Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan.
In a brief statement, Somali foreign ministry said both officials discussed issues of common concern and advancing bilateral interests that are mutual benefits to the both countries.
The meeting comes barely two weeks after Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble publicly apologized to the UAE for the seizure of 9.6 million USD by Somali security forces, pledging that his government will give the money back to Dubai.
“A new dawn of normalizing relations. After a period of cold relations, Somalia & UAE are now on a progressive path to solve their differences & resume the brotherly ties between the 2 countries. PM Mohamed Hussien Roble tells that Somalia will give back to UAE the seized cash in 2018,” said government spokesman Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu.
The move was opposed by president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo who ordered the country’s central bank governor to release the money which the president terned it ‘illicit ‘.
The money was confiscated in 2018 by Somali secutiry officials at Adan Adde International Airport.
According to officials at Somali finance ministry, the money has been at the central bank and it led Somalia’s diplomatic relations with the Gulf country to further deteriorate.
The UAE closed a military facility and a hospital in Mogadishu after the diplomatic dispute.