Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the 7th President of Somalia has called for a mediation to bring an end to the soaring tension between the country and the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking in an interview with Al Arabiya, the Saudi-owned Television, Ahmed urged the two countries to seek a solution for their differences and mend strained ties through talks.

The former leader said Somalia and the UAE share a strong economic, political and cultural bond that dates back several centuries linking the citizens of both countries.

Sheikh Sharif’s remarks came as Somali government said Monday that it has opened talks with United Arab Emirates leaders to resolve a diplomatic spat.

The UAE said Sunday it would halt a training program for Somali military forces in protest of the seizure of $9.6 million from an Emirati civil aircraft at Mogadishu’s Airport on April 8.

Relations between Somalia and the UAE worsened since the Federal government took a neutral position on a dispute between the Gulf countries began June 5, 2017.