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'South Yemen would normalise relations with Israel', UAE-backed group says

Fighters loyal to Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) reopen a highway in the southern Abyan province on 18 May 2020, following a three-hour ceasefire deal between pro-government troops and separatist forces. [NABIL HASAN/AFP via Getty Images]
Fighters loyal to Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen on 18 May 2020 [NABIL HASAN/AFP/Getty Images]

The UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen said yesterday that it would normalize ties with the occupation state of Israel if the state of South Yemen is established.

STC head Aidarous Al-Zubaidi told RT: "We support normalisation with Israel." He added that this is a principle of peace in the region and a basis for peace in the distant future.

"If we have a sovereign state, we can have normal ties with Israel. When we have our own capital and have independence and sovereignty, then we have the right to establish relations with Israel, this is our sovereign right," he continued.

Last year the UAE became the first Gulf state to formalise ties with the occupation. Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv's planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made officialvisits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu however denied the UAE's claims, saying annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

The STC supported the UAE's move to normalise ties describing it as a "courageous decision."

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