YEMEN (OBSERVATORY) – A delegation of Saudi military commanders arrived yesterday Friday on the Yemeni island of Socotra to hold its first meeting to “solve the problem of the island” currently occupied by the Emirati military.
The United Arab Emirates have occupied militarily the airport and the Socotra coasts to use the strategic situation of the island that they wish to transform into a military base to extend their influence in the Gulf of Aden and the region of the Horn of Africa.
The “problem” to which Saudi Arabia refers is that, before the occupation of the island’s airport by the Emirati forces, Socotra was under the control of the forces loyal to the resigned president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, supported by Riyadh.
The first meeting between the Saudi delegation and forces close to Mansour Hadi took place this Saturday, May 5 in Socotra without arriving at a positive result, reported the channel Al-Jazeera, quoting a local source.
According to this source, forces loyal to the resigning president announced that they would not leave the island and demand the withdrawal of the Emirati military from Socotra.
Last Thursday, local sources announced on social networks that the Emirati military had occupied the airport on the island by repelling forces near Mansour Hadi.
The local source, who requested anonymity, reported that the Emiratis did not allow the authorities dependent on the resigning president, including his prime minister Ahmed bin Dagher, to leave Socotra.
On Friday, the British newspaper The Independent confirmed the news of the Emirati occupation of the island, and emphasized the lack of any transparency regarding the UAE’s intentions. Some sources even speak of Mansour Hadi’s decision to lease the island of Socotra to the Emirati for a period of 99 years, the British newspaper reported.
The strategic position of the island, which lies near the Gulf of Aden, between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, seems to have fueled the greed of Abu Dhabi.