UAE: Withdrawal from Assab, build-up on Perim

Issue 1122 - 18 Mar 2021

The UAE has conducted a major draw-down of its primary overseas base, in the Eritrean port of Assab. The base remains operational, and evidently the 30-year lease the UAE signed with Eritrea remains in force, but aspects of the withdrawal suggest it is not merely a consequence of the UAE’s withdrawal of forces from Yemen – a deployment supported from Assab – but part of a wider ‘refresh’ of foreign policy ambitions, which even the retirement of minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash from his front-of-house role at the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be part of.

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