Kenya calls crisis meeting to chat way forward over Qatar

Kenya and Qatar enjoy cordial diplomatic relations.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing the land locked nation of supporting of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.

The diplomatic spat has opened the worst rift among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world in years.

Foreign affairs secretary Amina Mohamed has called a meeting to discuss Qatar’s diplomatic fallout with its Middle East neighbours over claims of supporting extremism.

Ms Mohamed has asked Kenyan officials in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to collate “background information” about the fallout ahead of a meeting on Tuesday.

“I have asked all our people in the Middle East to give us briefs on what is happening,” Amina Mohamed, the foreign affairs secretary, told a local daily.

“We are holding some meetings Tuesday morning about this issue. As soon as we put all the information together, then we can comment from an informed position. Right now, it is too premature to say anything.”

Kenya and Qatar enjoy cordial diplomatic relations as exhibited by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al–Thani’s visit to Nairobi last April to ink partnership deals touching on higher education and scientific research and cultural co-operation.

Qatar’s “booming economic growth” powerful by gas and oil provides numerous business and investment opportunities for Kenyans, with the hotel and restaurant businesses offering employment for local youth.

State-owned Qatar Airways is also set to launch direct flights between Mombasa and Doha next year, adding to the daily one it operates to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.

As with diplomatic spats Qatar crisis risks engulfing other countries as well, Saudi Arabia and her colleagues may exert pressure on other African countries like Kenya to severe diplomatic ties with Qatar as well dangling monetary gains as an incentive.

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