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Somali ambassador to Saudi Arabia resigns over alleged snub at Arab League summit


Sunday May 21, 2023

 

Mogadishu (HOL) - Amid brewing controversies during the 32nd Arab League summit, Somali Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Salim Maow Haji, has announced his resignation. The Ambassador's decision follows a series of disagreements and allegations of unprofessional conduct within the President's delegation.

The Arab League summit, officially the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Council of the League of Arab States at the Summit Level, convened in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on May 19, 2023. The event marked a gathering of the 22 member state heads, including Syria, reinstated after its decade-long suspension since 2011 due to civil unrest.

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In a detailed letter of resignation addressed to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Barre, Ambassador Maow detailed a series of grievances. His main contention revolved around his exclusion from the summit, a move he deems inconsistent with international diplomatic norms.

"With due consideration to maintaining my self-respect and dignity, as well as upholding the esteem of government service and diplomatic practices, I have decided to tender my resignation from the position of Ambassador to Saudi Arabia effective today, May 22, 2023."

The Ambassador's message emphasized the traditional role of the host country's Ambassador in such high-level meetings. Maow said that his absence from the discussions was unusual and a clear violation of diplomatic protocol.

Maow, who served as ambassador since October 2021,  further expressed his discontent with President Mohamud's Chief of Protocol, Hinda Ulosow. 

" I experienced unacceptable treatment from the Chief of Protocol of the President, Hinda Ulosow, who was disrespectful and insulting towards me. I have reported this issue to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but there has been a disappointing lack of intervention on his part."

The envoy also lamented the systematic blockade preventing his access to the President.

In his public address at the summit, President Mohamud hailed Somalia's progress and charted the government's priorities, focusing on enhanced anti-terror operations and the readiness of the Somali Army. He also underlined Somalia's debt relief goals and the importance of political stability. However, the diplomatic crisis spurred by the Ambassador's sudden departure could overshadow these critical issues.

As he steps away, Ambassador Salim has recommended that his responsibilities be transferred to Deputy Ambassador Mr. Abshir Warsame Diirshe until a suitable replacement is appointed. 
 
Below is an English translation of Ambassador Haji's statement. 

FULL STATEMENT:

Date: May 22, 2023
To: President of FGS
Cc: Prime Minister of FGS, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Subject: Resignation Notice

I, Mr. Salim Macow Haji, the Somali Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, write this to convey important points concerning my role and recent experiences:

  •     I was notably excluded from the 32nd meeting of the Arab University held in Jeddah on May 19, 2023. This exclusion is inconsistent with international diplomatic norms which typically involve the Ambassador of the host country in meetings occurring within their assigned nation.

  •     I experienced unacceptable treatment from the Chief of Protocol of the President, Hinda Ulosow, who was both disrespectful and insulting towards me. I have reported this issue to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but there has been a disappointing lack of intervention on his part.

  •     I have been systematically prevented from having private discussions with the President and was denied access to certain areas where the majority of the delegation was permitted.

With due consideration to maintaining my self-respect and dignity, as well as upholding the esteem of government service and diplomatic practices, I have decided to tender my resignation from the position of Ambassador to Saudi Arabia effective today, May 22, 2023.

I hereby recommend transferring my responsibilities to the Deputy Ambassador, Mr. Abshir Warsame Diirshe, until a suitable replacement can be appointed.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Salim Macow Haji
Outgoing Ambassador of Somalia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia



 





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