Saudi Forces Arrive on Socotra as Yemen Slams UAE 'Colonization' of Island

Posted May 15, 2018

Dr. Al Zayani said that the Gulf initiative to resolve the Yemeni crisis has received support from Arab, regional and global countries, pointing out that Yemen is a neighbor of the GCC countries that are working to address the Yemeni crisis through six tracks.

Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr said on Monday the dispute with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over Socotra island has been resolved.

Yemen and the UAE are allies in the Saudi-led coalition, but relations between the two countries soured amid concerns among Yemeni officials over the UAE's growing influence in southern Yemen.

Troops from the UAE and Saudi Arabia who had been stationed in Socotra will be replaced by their Yemeni counterparts.

He might hold a meeting with Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Riyadh on the latest developments in Yemen's Socotra island and elsewhere.

There was no immediate confirmation of the report from Saudi authorities.

He said both sides agreed that the Island will return to its status before April 30 when UAE deployed forces on the island.

According to the news agency, the deal aims to get life back to normal on the island and to resume relief aid efforts with Saudi support.

Emirati forces seized all vital institutions there, including the airport, the ports and the government headquarters, according to residents. "It reflects the differences between a legitimate government and our brothers about the rights to the island", - said in a statement. A government source told Reuters that the UAE move was a power-play for "commercial and security interests" and accused the UAE of trying to colonise Yemen.

Turki al-Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels, says Sunday that the Saudi troops are on a training and support mission for Yemeni forces.

Socotra has largely been irrelevant to the Saudi invasion, to the point that islanders have at times complained of being "forgotten".