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Dolphins along the coast of Socotra, Yemen.

From Middle East Eye:

The UAE’s Yemen presence should be viewed from a meta-perspective. By controlling strategically important trade hubs, the Emiratis are pursuing the establishment of trans-regional structures in the Middle East and beyond in order to further expand their fossil-fuel trade to Europe and North America. To that end, Abu Dhabi is forcing its way into the region’s energy and security infrastructure at a rapid pace: from Eritrea and Somaliland to Cyprus and Libya’s Benghazi.

In Yemen, these ambitions have manifested in several strategically important ways: the recapture of Perim island in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, the transformation of the island of Socotra in the Gulf of Aden into the UAE’s very own tourism and military colony, and successful efforts to gain control over a network of ports in Yemen.

After investing billions in infrastructure and arming separatist militias in southern Yemen, the UAE is now harvesting its secessionist crops. The Emiratis have in mind a vassal province – a kind of eighth emirate of South Yemen – which, with its strategically important geography and provision of energy infrastructure, could enable the rise of the UAE as a global energy superpower.

The UAE’s sole interest is controlling the 2,000 kilometres of Yemeni coast – a central pillar of Abu Dhabi’s plans to become a global energy superpower, which it is relentlessly pursuing instead of negotiating the legitimate co-use of Yemeni ports and investments in the country’s energy infrastructure.