Tue, May 15, 2018 - Page 9 News List

UAE extends military reach, influence in Yemen and Somalia

By Noah Browning and Alexander Cornwell  /  Reuters, ABU DHABI

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told reporters that support for the regions was not intended to split Somalia and his nation has no quarrel with the central government.

“Our policy of recognizing a ‘one Somalia’ stands ... but at the same time we are able to support the people of Somaliland through humanitarian, developmental,” he said.

Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali told reporters in Dubai that Emirati personnel were training local forces to combat piracy and Islamic groups in Yemen or Somalia.

He denied that the UAE sought a long-term colonial presence.

“They are not occupying as a military force in Somalia,” he said. “It’s impossible. We are fierce fighters, we will never allow that to happen.”

Additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi

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