By Merve Aydogan
Turkey on Thursday expressed concerns over the recent developments on Yemen’s Socotra island after the UAE dispatched its military to the island last week.
“We are closely following the developments in Yemen’s Socotra island. We are concerned about these developments that pose a new threat to Yemen’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, which has also been expressed in relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Ministry stressed that Yemen cannot bear new problems and conflicts since the country is already experiencing “a rough period” due to ongoing conflicts for over three years.
“In this framework, all relevant actors must respect the legitimate Yemen Government and we invite all to refrain from taking steps that may further complicate the solution to current crisis. We expect the UN to endorse support to give momentum for resolving the Yemeni crisis through negotiations,” the statement added.
Tensions have mounted between Yemen and the UAE since last week, when the latter sent a military force to Socotra without prior coordination with the Yemeni government, which since 2015 has been based in the coastal city of Aden.
Last week, Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr visited Socotra with a view to reasserting Yemen’s sovereignty over the island.
The Yemeni government said the UAE force had seized control of the Socotra airport and port once they were deployed, in a move that the government described as “unjustified”.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies — who accuse the Houthis of serving as an Iranian proxy — launched a massive military campaign against the rebels.