Turkey cancelled its attendance to the OIC ministerial meeting in Mogadishu which took place Saturday following the decision by Somalia to side with Saudi Arabia following the gruesome murder of Washing Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Goobjoog News can authoritatively reveal.
Impeccable sources have intimated to Goobjoog News the Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu cancelled his participation at the one day event despite earlier confirmation of attendance.
Goobjoog News has obtained a note verbal from the Turkish Permanent Mission to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) confirming Çavuşoğlu’s participation at the event.
“The Permanent Mission informs that H.E Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, intends to participate in the said meeting. H.E Minister Çavuşoğlu and the accompanying delegation would arrive in Mogadishu with a direct flight from Turkey, to attend the meeting,” the note dated October 15 reads in part.
Our sources add that the move by Turkey, a strong ally of Somalia to make known to Mogadishu its dismay could be the beginning of waning diplomatic relations between the two countries.
But our sources note that Ankara cancelled its participation in the meeting in protest of Somalia’s decision to declare its support for Saudi Arabia amid international pressure over Khashoggi’s killing. Saudi Arabia which flip flopped before ultimately owning up to the murder of the journalist has come under international pressure with major international organisations and governments pulling out of an investment summit last week.
On the 15th of this month, the same day Turkey confirmed its attendance to the Mogadishu meeting, Somalia issued a statement affirming its support for Saudi Arabia.
“The Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia reaffirms its position in support of the stability and sovereignty of Arab states, and announces the full support of our brother Saudi Arabia opposes anyone trying to harm its role and interests,” a statement from the ministry read in part.
Our sources add that the move by Turkey, a strong ally of Somalia to make known to Mogadishu its dismay could be the beginning of waning diplomatic relations between the two countries. “This could damage the relations between the two countries,” the source who declined to be identified told Goobjoog News.
Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Awad told journalists Saturday Çavuşoğlu skipped the Mogadishu meeting to chair an international summit convened by Turkey to discuss the rebuilding of Syria. The meeting chaired by President Erdoğan was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Turkey has strongly maintained its support to Somalia since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s first visit to Somalia in 2011 when hundreds of thousands of Somali were wasting away in famine. The famine killed upwards of 250,000 people and displaced over a million others.
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In its latest major development assistance to the Horn of Africa nation, Turkey opened a state-of-the art military training academy in Mogadishu which is expected to train thousands of Somali soldiers as the country rebuilds its national army.
The decision by Somalia to side with Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi crisis added to another controversial diplomatic move by the Federal Government in August following a fall-out between Saudi Arabia and Canada. Somalia opted for Saudi Arabia.