The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) urged on Thursday respect for Somalia’s territorial integrity after an agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia seeking access to the Red Sea.
The 57-member organization in a statement rejected “any act violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia.”
“The General Secretariat renewed the solidarity of the OIC with the Federal Republic of Somalia and stressed the need to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity and to safeguard security, peace, and stability in the region,” it added.
The deal, signed between Addis Ababa and the breakaway Somali region of Somaliland on Jan. 1, gives Ethiopia the opportunity to obtain a permanent and reliable naval base and commercial maritime service in the Gulf of Aden.
Somalia has rejected the deal and said it intends to violate its sovereignty. It also recalled its ambassador from the East African country.
The Arab League and the African Union have also rejected and condemned the maritime access collaboration.
“The Chairperson underscores the importance of adhering to the norms of good neighborliness to promote and consolidate peace, security and stability in the Horn of Africa region,” the African Union said in a statement early Thursday.
It urged the two Horn of Africa neighbors to engage in a negotiation process to settle their differences “without delay.”
Ethiopia, however, has defended its decision, saying no laws have been transgressed.