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Russia To Set Up Navy Military Base On Socotra
  Written By: Fuad Rajeh (YEMEN POST STAFF) 
  Article Date:
January 19, 2009



Russia is to set up a military base on Socotra Island but the timing for the establishment of the base has not been identified yet, Russian military officials have said.

The officials were cited as saying Russia has decided to set up three navy bases in three Arab countries including Yemen.

The other two bases would be in the Syrian city of Tartus and the Libyan city of Tripoli.

The move comes with the goal to protect Russian interests in the region, the officials said, pointing out that the base on the Yemeni Socotra Island will provide security to Russian civil vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

However, a number of Russian sources denied the news but said that the naval base would be set up “within a few years”. It is premature to name any countries as possible locations for naval bases,” said an official from the office of the military’s chief of staff.

The announcement was made at a time when Yemeni-US relations are somewhat tense due to different views over many issues related to the war on terror, piracy, democracy and human rights.

Piracy has recently soared off Somalia's coast and in the Gulf of Aden, after almost 115 ships and vessels were attacked by Somali pirates last year.

Many western countries along with Asian countries and Russia have sent naval ships to conduct anti-pirate patrols in the area.

Piracy off Somalia's coast has become a growing concern for all world countries, threatening one of the world's busiest waterways where 20,000 ships and vessels pass every year.