Conservatives have voiced criticism against Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a prominent member of the progressive “Squad,” over her remarks supporting her native Somalia. A video shared on X by Somaliland’s deputy minister of foreign affairs captured Omar addressing a Minneapolis audience about the state’s deal with Ethiopia, which Somalia claims infringes on its territory.
While an English translation of Omar’s comments, which has not been independently verified, suggests she prioritizes Somali interests and mentions the U.S. doing what it wants, conservatives were swift in their condemnation.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., took to X, accusing Omar of being a “terrorist sympathizer” and asserting that she prioritizes Somalia over America. Former Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., labeled Omar a “disgraceful representative” in an X post.
Despite the backlash, Omar responded on X, stating that the interpretation of her remarks was slanted and emphasizing her solidarity with Somalis in Somalia and the diaspora. She highlighted the significance of federal government consent in land lease negotiations between nations.
The controversy centers around Ethiopia’s memorandum of understanding with Somaliland, where part of Somaliland’s coastland is leased to landlocked Ethiopia. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud expressed concerns about Ethiopians crossing into Somali territory to access the leased area, raising potential issues at a different level.
The situation underscores tensions and differing perspectives on the geopolitical stage, with Omar’s comments drawing scrutiny and prompting a debate on national interests.