Puntland´s Gaas Apologizes For "Mistakes" Requests UAE To Continue Supporting Regions Forces
Puntland regional state President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas has requested United Arab Emirates to continue with the training and support of the Puntland Maritime Police Forces (PMPF)
He was addressing the PMPF forces at an event in the commercial capital of the region Bossaaso.
“As Puntland State the UAE has assisted us in many ways. It has really helped us in fighting Al-Shabaab and ISIS who have staged numerous attacks. They also assisted as in eliminating Somali pirates. UAE trained forces are the one defending Somalia as a whole” Gaas said
“If UAE leaves there will be there will be a security challenge in Puntland which is in the first line of defense for Somalia.This will only help our enemy our enemy particularly Alshabaab and ISIS” Gas added.
“We apologize to our friends for any inconveniences they may have inadvertently faced in Somalia” Gaas said in an apparent reference to last week UAE aircraft seizure and Saturday standoff at a Bossaaso airport but also dismissed reports on media and social media over the incident.
“These are an unadulterated nonsense.UAE is here to stay and they will not abandon Somalia in their hour of need” he added.
His request follows Saturday´s reported standoff between UAE military officials and Puntland security agents at Bossaaso airport.
UAE military officials had declined to go through a security check at the Bossaaso airport before boarding and landing an Emirates aircraft.
Abu Dhabi on Sunday announced that it had disbanded all training and support of Somalia military including the Puntland Maritime Police forces.
Somalia and UAE has been embroiled in a diplomatic row ever since the 2017 Qatar crisis. The latest diplomatic row was triggered by the seizure of a UAE aircraft and almost $10M in it at the Aden Abdulleh international Airport last week. Abu Dhabi termed it a breach of diplomatic protocol.