• Somalia cuts off diplomatic ties with Iran

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    MOGADISHU: The Somali government on Thursday severed its diplomatic ties with Iran following attack on the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran on Saturday by protesters.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion summoned the Charge d’Affaire of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Mogadishu to inform him of the decision to severe diplomatic ties with Iran.

    “The ministry informed the Charge d’Affaire that all Iranian diplomats and embassy staff must leave Somalia within 72 hours,” the ministry said in a statement issued after a meeting of a directive from the Council of Ministers.

    “This step has been taken after careful consideration and in response to the Republic of Iran’s continuous interference in Somalia’s internal affairs,” the statement added.

    The drastic move came after Saudi severed its diplomatic relations with Iran on Jan. 3, following demonstrations held in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad by angry protesters who slammed the Al Saud family for the killing of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

    The Horn of African nation becomes the latest country to cut off diplomatic relations after Djibouti which severed its relations with Iran on Wednesday while Qatar has recalled its ambassador from Tehran.

    Somalia called on Iran to respect the sovereignty of all States as per international law, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 as well as international diplomatic norms. PNA/Xinhua

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