Tensions rise as Israel courts diplomatic ties with Somalia

Tel Aviv (Caasimada Online) – Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is ardently working on establishing normalized ties with Somalia, a country that has consistently voted against Israel in international forums, according to Israeli Media.

Despite not having historical diplomatic relations with Israel and prohibiting Israelis from entering its territories, Somalia has demonstrated multiple interests in creating diplomatic bridges with the Jewish nation.

This newfound curiosity might be linked to Somalia’s strategic location near the Red Sea’s entrance and its proximity to the Arab Peninsula, especially amidst Israel’s waning relations with Eritrea.

Direct efforts to build these relations can be traced back to 2016 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with the Somali president in Nairobi.

Following this, the discussions mostly continued in indirect channels involving diplomats of lower stature.

The internal Israeli debate

However, as per Hebrew media, this move faces internal opposition. Tzachi Hanegbi, the Head of the National Security Council, as The Times of Israel reported, voiced concerns against establishing ties with Somalia.

He highlighted that Israel might not benefit significantly by aligning with a country facing severe economic challenges.

This standoff further accentuates the existing rift between the National Security Council and the Foreign Ministry, with disputes emerging since 2014.

The tension was ignited recently with news leaking about a confidential meeting between Cohen and his Libyan peer, Najla Al-Mangoush.

Reliable sources suggest that Cohen also had probable interactions with close confidants of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.