DUBAI, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday condemned Somalia for seizing an Emirati aircraft and 9.6 million U.S. dollars in cash at Mogadishu airport, UAE state news agency WAM reported Tuesday.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 47 members of the Emirati armed forces were onboard the aircraft when it was seized by Somali authorities "at gunpoint."
Some Somali security members reportedly disrespected the passengers and seized 9.6 million U.S. dollars in cash that were originally allocated to support the Somali army and trainees.
"The impounded money, allocated to support the Somali army and trainees, was seized at gunpoint by Somali security personnel, who disrespected some members of the UAE forces," Gulf news quoted the UAE ministry.
The UAE condemns "such a violation," Gulf News quoted the ministry as saying, adding that the UAE provided "all forms of political, economic, military and humanitarian support to Somalia in the darkest of its circumstances in order to consolidate the security and stability."
"The act is illegal and violates diplomatic traditions and norms between countries, and is a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the UAE and Somalia," said the ministry.
The MoU, signed in November, 2014, is on military cooperation between the two sides, and included the allocation of funds to the East African country.
Bilateral relations between the UAE and Somalia have been deteriorating since March 13 when Somalia banned UAE ports operator DP World, the world's third biggest container port operator, from operating in its country.
The ban followed Somalia's claims that DP World had no right to sign a contract with the breakaway region of Somaliland to establish a port zone in Berberaa located at the coast of the Gulf of Aden.
Somalia said it regarded the deal as "null and void." The action by Somalia followed an amendment of the contract, which granted the state of Ethiopia minority share in port project.