Former Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali has dismissed remarks made by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) claiming the Emirati government engaged in a MoU on Berbera deal with the previous Somali administration.
The Dubai owned Port Operator, DP World Company had inked an agreement with Somaliland during Ali’s tenure of Premiership.
Speaking to the media, the former PM said his government was not part of the military base and Berbera Port deals penned by DP World and Somaliland authorities.
“I hereby make clear that, for those years that I was the Prime Minister, there was neither military nor trade agreements that we engaged in, with United Arab Emirates particularly over Berbera and Bossaso Port deals,” said Ali.
When pressed about knowing any UAE deal before he assumed office, the Premier underscored that he was unaware of the existence of previous agreements signed by his predecessors with UAE.
“I could not talks on behalf of the governments before mine, but for those two years I was the PM there were no agreements inked by Somalia and UAE,” he confirmed.
Earlier this week, the UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash claimed his government penned a development and humanitarian support deals with the former government of Somalia.
Gargash neither specifically mentioned the then leaders of the government nor the year of the agreement.
“We had a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the former government and it was very clear. We did not have a consulate or embassy in Somaliland so there was no formal relationship,” Gargash said.