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Why Kenya must treat Qatar crisis with caution

By Joe Musyoki | June 9th 2017

Key Arab countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing the country's suspected links with Al-Qaeda and other extremist Islamic groups.

There are fresh accusations that Qatar paid billions in ransom to Al-Qaeda and has supported the uprising that swept across the Arab world.

This has raised a flurry of activity and uncertainty at our Foreign Ministry on how to respond to the new development that could impact our country's relationship with all the protagonists. The Arab countries concerned and Qatar are Kenya's key trading and development partners.

The Middle East is an important destination of our agricultural produce and a key employment destination. Kenya must, therefore, tread with caution in her handling of the diplomatic crisis.

We must place our interests first and ask ourselves how much it will cost to cut ties with Qatar. There is also a real possibility that we could be dealing with an Al-Shabaab funder from the Middle East. Joe Musyoki, Kitengela

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