Somalia has turned away a plane transporting officials from Ethiopia to the self-declared republic of Somaliland in a major escalation of the diplomatic row between the countries.

Somalia’s information minister told the BBC the plane did not have permission to be in the country’s airspace.

The Ethiopian officials were visiting Somaliland to discuss a deal, which has sparked a huge row.

Somalia considers Somaliland to be part of its territory.

The agreement, signed on 1 January, would allow Somaliland to lease one of its ports to Ethiopia in exchange for a stake in Ethiopian Airlines and possible recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign state.

Somalia has reacted angrily to the deal, calling it an act of aggression.