YEMEN Press Agency

Pro-coalition government admits deal to lease Qishn port in Mahra

MAHRA, Jan. 02 (YPA) – The government loyal to Saudi-led coalition countries, headed by Moein Abdulmalik, has recognized a deal to lease the historic port of Qishn in Mahra province, eastern Yemen, to an Emirati company.

“Reuters” news agency quoted an official in Abdulmalik’s government, who did not reveal his identity, as saying that “the value of the deal to lease the port amounted to 100 million dollars, to carry out mining activity.”

The official explained that the government approved the contract signed with the Emirati company “AJHAM” to establish the sea port in the Ras Sherwin area in the Qishn district, with “a construction and operation system.”

The project includes the construction of a port consisting of a promontory on several levels, including a 1,000-meter-long breakwater, a 300-meter-long sea pier for ships docking, and a draft of 14 meters in its first phase, the official added.

He indicated that the port would be dedicated to exporting limestone and other minerals, without disclosing their type or the duration of the contract.

The spokesman for the Mahra sit-in committee opposing the foreign occupation in the province, Ali Mubarak Mahamed, considered the agreement to lease the port of Qishn a flagrant violation of Yemeni sovereignty.

He confirmed that the sit-in committee categorically rejected the agreement from the outset, as the decision was vague and unknown and was issued by a party that is not authorized to sign agreements with countries.

Mahamad accused the Riyadh-formed Presidential Council, head by Rashad Al-Alimi, and Moein Abdulmalik’s government of “legitimizing the steps of the Saudi-Emirati occupation in Mahra province.”

On Sunday, head of the political department in the Mahra sit-in committee, Saeed Afri, warned of the serious repercussions regarding the sale of the historic port of Qishn by the pro-coalition government and the looting of the Sherwin Mount range, which is rich in various types of rare minerals.

“The Qishn port project is not related to trade and official maritime services for the people of the province, similar to international commercial ports, but rather to the plundering of mineral resources abroad, mainly by a group of brokers,” Afri said.

Yemeni activists launched on Sunday a campaign on social media, rejecting the sale of the port of Qishn, amid widespread public outcry, following the pro-coalition government’s approval of leasing of the port to the Emirati company.

In turn, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Sanaa government, Hussein Al-Ezzi, announced today, Monday, in a tweet on Twitter, that “Sanaa does not recognize any agreements signed by Al-Alimi’s government appointed by the coalition countries.”

He pointed out that Sanaa considers such agreements nihilistic and has no legal value.

The deal sparked angry reactions among the Yemeni people, who considered that Al-Alimi’s government “no longer exists except to conclude deals that waste Yemeni sovereignty.”