ADEN, Yemen-- Hundreds of people staged on Monday a demonstration in Yemen's Socotra Island in support of the Saudi Arabia-backed Yemeni government.

According to local government sources, the peaceful demonstration aimed at showing support for the government of Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr who is present in Socotra along with some ministers.

He said that some of the demonstrators "raised slogans demanding their refusal to the military presence, demanding the departure of the soldiers from Socotra."

On Friday, Yemen's prime minister and other officials held a meeting with a Saudi commission that arrived to mediate and investigate recent events following outrage by Yemen's government over the United Arab Emirates (UAE) troop expansion in Socotra.

Media outlets allied with the Yemeni government accused UAE forces of "occupying the island's sole airport and refusing to allow the Prime Minister to go back into Aden."

The Yemeni government issued an official statement and stressed that "the Yemeni people will not give up any of their sovereign territories, including the strategic island of Socotra."

On Sunday, the UAE Foreign Ministry issued a statement and expressed "surprise" over the Yemeni PM's statement against its presence in Socotra, accusing Muslim Brotherhood of attempting to distort its efforts in Yemen.

The UAE Foreign Ministry stressed that the UAE is playing a balanced role in the Yemeni Socotra Island to establish peace and stability and support development projects for the Island's residents.

It said the UAE military presence in all liberated Yemeni governorates, including Socotra, fits within the efforts made by the Arab coalition to support "legitimacy at this critical stage in the history of Yemen."

The ministry emphasised that the UAE has "no ambitions" in Yemen or any part of it, and its steps in many Yemeni governorates come within the context of supporting Yemen's security and stability, as well as helping legitimacy and Yemeni people.

Socotra Island with its capital Hadibu is a Yemeni archipelago on the Indian Ocean. The ongoing three-year internal conflict had no effect on Socotra.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led Arab coalition that has been fighting the Shiite Houthi rebels since March 2015 to support the internationally-recognized government led by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The Saudi-led coalition accuses Iran of arming the Houthis, who have fired scores of ballistic missiles on Saudi troops and cities since the outbreak of hostilities.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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