Somali parliamentary body grills minister over Qatar terror link claims

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Somali Lower House of Parliament has questioned the minister of foreign affairs, Ahmed Isse Awad, regarding allegations against the Government of Qatar published in a recent New York Times article.

The New York Times’ report claimed that it had a recording of a highly-connected Qatari businessman discussing the 18 May explosion in Bosaso with the Qatari ambassador to Somalia.

Qatar had vehemently rejected the allegations in the article, and the Somali government said it was satisfied with Qatar’s denial.

The Puntland administration, where the attack took place, has also called for a thorough investigation into the allegations, which it said were alarming.

The committee chairman, Abdiqadir Osoble Ali, said the allegations in the New York Times’ article were serious and merited an official investigation by the government.

Osoble spoke to journalist shortly after the meeting with the foreign minister ended.

“This issue should not be taken lightly. It is a terrorist act. To hear that diplomats of a country friendly to Somalia and with which we have relations had information about a terrorist act, and did not share this information with us, is troubling,” Osoble told journalists in Mogadishu.

He said the foreign minister insisted that the Qatari denial was enough for the government to end the matter.

The committee, however, insisted that a formal investigation be launched into the claims by the New York Times, and the result shared with Somali public.


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