Somalia, Qatar reject Arab League sanctions against Turkey


October 13, 2019  (AO) – Somalia and Qatar Saturday voted against a resolution by the Arab League to condemn Turkey for its incursion into northern Syria.

The communique by the Arab League which sought not only to condemn but also impose sanctions on Turkey was endorsed by majority of Arab League members but Somalia and Qatar held back their support.

Somalia argued it would not support the resolution since Turkey was a ‘friendly’ country and had contributed to Somalia’s recovery process.

“Turkey has given a lot to the Somali government and people through its contribution in building all government institutions after years of crises and civil war,” Somalia Chargé d’affaires in Egypt Tawfiq Ahmed Abdullahi said.

Abdullahi told the Arab League that while his country appreciated support from the bloc, it too acknowledged the efforts of Turkey in the post-civil war period.

“You (Arab League) continued and you are still on the side of the Somali people as they recover from this crisis. Friendly countries such as Turkey have also supported Somalia in rehabilitating Somalia army and strengthening its capacity too.”

Turkey currently trains Somali soldiers both at home and in Somalia. It opened a military academy in Mogadishu in 2017 training up to 1,000 soldiers at a time. The academy cost $50 million to build according to Turkish officials.

The communique Saturday proposed economic, political and tourism sanctions on Turkey for its invasion into Syria.