Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-Ethiopia on Thursday announced that it “categorically” rejected an Arab League statement condemning a recent maritime deal between Addis Ababa and Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland.

Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mesganu Arega Moach on X accused the 22-nation regional organization of attempting to interfere with Addis Ababa’s internal affairs and sovereignty.
He said Ethiopia enjoys “excellent” bilateral relations with many of the Arab states but that the league “is serving the interests of few.”

The Arab League issued a statement after an emergency virtual meeting on Wednesday, expressing its solidarity with Somalia amid a row between it and Somaliland, which signed a deal to allow Ethiopia access to the Red Sea and a naval base.

The league said it supports efforts by Somalia to take the matter to the International Court of Justice, condemning “this measure as a blatant aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia.”
The statement comes hours after the African Union Security Council urged Somalia and Ethiopia to exercise restraint, de-escalate tensions, and engage in “meaningful dialogue” towards finding a peaceful resolution.

Responding to the African Union call, Mogadishu said Thursday that “there is no space for mediation” with Ethiopia unless Addis Ababa retracts its “illegal” deal with Somaliland.
Mogadishu welcomed affirmation from the bloc’s Security Council of the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of all member states.

Somalia has not violated these sacred principles, the country’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.
“For that reason, there is no space for mediation unless Ethiopia retracts its illegal MOU (memorandum of understanding) and reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia,” it said.

The ministry added that Somalia stood ready to engage with all member states of the African Union, UN, and (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) IGAD trade bloc on a mutually beneficial relationship grounded in international law that can lead to economic development and shared prosperity.

Relations between the two neighboring Horn of Africa nations have soured since Ethiopia signed the Red Sea access deal with Somaliland on Jan. 1.

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