The Gulf Crisis: Why Somalia Should Take a Critical Distance

The governments of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in the worst diplomatic crisis to hit Gulf Arab states in decades in June 2017. The four countries accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region and imposed trade and economic restrictions on the country. The neutral stance from Somalia on the crisis brought its own challenges as member states announced their separation from the Somali government's position citing their strategic relationships with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The member sates also cited the lack of consultation and raised questions on the roles and responsibilities of the federal states regarding foreign policy decisions. This study was undertaken to better understand the position the Somali government should take regarding the Gulf crisis. The study clearly found out that the Gulf crisis would have negative political, economic and security impact on Somalia if not handled well. It is important that the country handle the crisis carefully to minimize the potential negative impacts.