08 December 2022 06:10 PM

Political Relations

Wednesday، 04 November 2020 - 12:00 AM

Political Relations

The Egyptian-Yemeni relations are characterized by a great deal of distinction and privacy, as the Egyptians have been keen since the era of the Pharaohs to establish strong political relations, because the ancient Egyptians understood Yemen's unique location on the Red Sea and its control over the ancient trade routes. King Thutmose III was keen to send and receive gifts from the Sabean merchants and the Yemeni merchants were the main supplier of incense to ancient Egyptian temples.

In the modern era, Muhammad Ali Pasha was keen to extend the influence of the Egyptian state to Yemen, strengthen trade relations and exchange goods between the two countries, impose control of the Egyptian state on trade routes in the Red Sea, and establish a strong Egyptian fleet that controlled the Red Sea.

In the sixties of the last century the bonds of the relationship between the two countries were strengthened after Egypt's complete support to the Yemeni revolution, during the rule of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, ,as Egyptian forces participated in supporting the Yemeni revolution in getting rid of the British colonialism in the south and the reactionary regime of Imam.

Egyptian-Yemeni relations during the era of the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser:

President Abdel Nasser supported the Yemeni revolution militarily with Egyptian armed forces in a major operation called Al-Kodi (Operation 9000).  Egypt, also, undertook the task of introducing modernization to Yemen by establishing a state body for the first time in Yemen’s history, in addition to establishing hospitals, schools, roads, ports and airports in order to take Yemen to the twentieth century. These developments triggered the revolution in Aden and South Yemen, which Egypt completely supported in an operation code-named Salah al-Din.

Not only did Abdel Nasser succeed in obtaining recognition by the United States of the government of the revolution in Yemen on December 19, 1962 in exchange of  the withdrawal of all forces supporting the revolution and the Imam from Yemen, but also  the commitment of US government  to provide aid to the new government in Yemen.

The presence of the Egyptian army in Yemen to support the rebels led to the emergence of a dangerous situation in which Egypt controls the transportation route in the Red Sea from the north through the Suez Canal, and from the south through the Bab el-Mandab strait.

When President Gamal Abdel Nasser arrived in Yemen on April 23, 1964, the whole city of Sana’a; especially the Egyptian leadership building on the northern side, turned into a qibla to which all Yemeni tribes went to see Abdel Nasser. And when Abdel Nasser flew to Taiz in the south, he received a wonderful reception from the tribes of the Yemeni South and the tribes of South Yemen. History will always tell the results of this visit and its great impact on the stability of the Yemeni revolution internally and internationally. However, England informed the United Nations that President Jamal’s speeches in Yemen caused the inability to reach a solution concerning  the issues of  southern Yemen.

Despite all the conspiracies against the Yemeni revolution and despite the disaster of June 1967, the Republic of Yemen was established and the Yemeni people got rid of the rule of the Imamate, and the winds of change blew over the Arab Gulf region, so all Gulf emirates became independent and the colonial presence in the region came to an end.

The state of South Yemen came into existence as an independent state. Later, North and South Yemen were united into one state, and then with the Arab control of Bab el-Mandab, Nasser’s dream was fulfilled, as the Red Sea became a truly Arab sea.

And because of the Egyptian army’s presence in Yemen near the sources of oil, oil companies changed their methods of dealing with oil governments, giving them a greater share of their stolen wealth.

Yemen was a vital focal point in the Egyptian and Arab national security by virtue of its strategic location in the south of the Red Sea overlooking Sudan, the Horn of Africa and Bab el-Mandab. Therefore, the revolution in Egypt realized soon that any political change in Yemen could impact the national liberation movement in the entire Arab world.

Egypt's support to the Yemeni revolution did not start on the night of September 26, 1962, and it was not just a reaction to the secession or an expression of a desire to restore balance in favor of the national mainstream, but Yemen was always in the minds of the July revolutionaries since the beginning of the revolution.

In brief, Egypt stood by the revolution in Yemen for the right of peoples to determine their destiny, and it is one of the battles of the continuous conflict, which will never end between the Arab national movement and the world powers. If it were not for Egypt's positions towards the revolution and its assistance to all liberation movements, Egypt would have neither been the elder sister nor the symbol of pride and liberation, for Egypt's position on the international, Arab and African levels is marked by the blood of its martyrs in Palestine, Algeria, Yemen and Sinai. It is worth mentioning that Egypt's Arab role was not created by Gamal Abdel Nasser from scratch. However, the Arab role of Egypt is known and attested very much before, and whoever denies that role does not realize Egypt’s position and the role that is destined for it as Egypt.

Egyptian-Yemeni relations during the era of the late President Mohamed Anwar Sadat

Sadat used to visit Yemen after the revolution of September 26, 1962. He was in charge of the Yemen file before Abdel Nasser. Sadat was baffled among the divisions of the Republicans in Sana'a, i.e., the two wings of Al-Sallal and his dominant movement on the one hand, and the movement of Al-Qadi Al-Eryani, Al-Nu`man and Hassan Al-Omari on the other.

Sadat had intermarriage relations with Yemen, since Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Baidani, Vice President of the Revolutionary Command, Vice President of the Republic, and former Prime Minister of Yemen is married to Jihan Sadat's sister.

Yemen played a great role in the October 1973 war against the Israeli occupation, as Yemen closed cross the Bab el-Mandab Strait in face of Israel. Lieutenant General Fouad Zekry moved three Egyptian naval vessels to the Bab el-Mandab Strait, in complete secrecy, at points that allow them to radically monitor and inspect the movement of all vessels crossing the Red Sea, and not a single Israeli military ship dared to cross the Bab el-Mandab Strait throughout the siege.

This is an undeniable role for Yemen, without it, Egypt would not have been able to close the Strait of Bab el-Mandab and prevent the passage of any warships during the war.

The Yemeni first lieutenant pilot, Omar Ghaylan Al-Sharjabi had an extraordinary heroic achievement, as he volunteered during the October 1973 war to serve in the Syrian Arab Air Force, where he attacked one of the Israeli Phantoms smashing it down and stroked Israeli supply sites, which were completely destroyed in Tiberias, south of Mount Hermon.

Egyptian-Yemeni relations during the era of the late President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak

Egyptian-Yemeni relations during the era of the late President Hosni Mubarak witnessed strong ties between the two brotherly countries, as there were strong brotherly relations between President Mubarak and President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh said: We in the Republic of Yemen, the leadership, government and people, highly value Egypt's stances and leadership in favour of Yemen, its security, stability and unity. This is not strange for Egypt, which has always stood by its brothers in Yemen in the darkest circumstances and twists. Also, the Yemeni blood mixed with Egyptian blood on the soil of Yemen In defense of the Yemeni revolution.

President Mubarak visited Yemen in 1988, where he was received by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, The two presidents discussed ways to support bilateral relations between the two countries.

- On February 18, 1991, President Mubarak visited Yemen, received by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the two presidents discussed developments in the Gulf War and the Iraqi initiative.

- The year 2004 witnessed the beginning of a new phase in the relations between the two countries after the visit of the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to Cairo on 10/2/2004, where he was received by President Mubarak. The two heads of state settled some pending issues, including the issue of terrorism and the extradition of extremist elements.

- On June 27, 2007, President Ali Abdullah Saleh visited Egypt at the invitation of President Hosni Mubarak. The talks focused on the distinguished brotherly relations between the two countries and the means of developing and expanding areas of bilateral cooperation in a way that serves the common interests of the two brotherly countries. The two presidents, also, discussed the developments in the Arab arena, especially those in Palestine, Iraq, Darfur, Lebanon and Somalia.

- On November 10, 2007, President Ali Abdullah Saleh visited Egypt, in response to President Mubarak's invitation to participate in the opening ceremony of the 11th Pan Arab Games that took place in Cairo, Egypt from 11 to 25, 2007. The two presidents held talks on ways to strengthen relations and areas of Joint cooperation between the two brotherly countries, in addition to consultation and exchange of views regarding the current Arab developments as well as regional and international developments that concern the Arab nation.

- On October 2nd, 2008, President Ali Abdullah Saleh visited Egypt, where he was received by President Mubarak, and the two sides discussed developments in the Middle East region and ways to boost relations between the two countries.

On April 19, 2010, President Ali Abdullah Saleh visited Egypt and he was received by President Mubarak, who confirmed Egypt's stance in support of Yemen, its security, stability and unity.

In the meeting, the two presidents discussed aspects of bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as the Yemeni and Egyptian peoples including ways to enhance and develop them. They, also, discussed on issues and developments on the Arab and regional arenas, which concern the two countries as well as the Arab nation, salient of which are the results of the 22nd Arab Summit held in the Libyan city of Sirte and the efforts made to push the march of joint Arab action and develop its mechanisms.
Yemen's stance regarding 25 January Revolution
On 12/2/2011, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh made a phone call to Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in which he affirmed his country's stand by Egypt and the aspirations of the Egyptian people for freedom, democracy and renaissance.
Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in Sanaa and a number of Yemeni cities to express their joy at the success of the Egyptian revolution.
Egyptian-Yemeni relations after June 30, 2013 Revolution
After June 30, 2013 Revolution, Egypt was keen on the return of joint Arab action as a basis for solving the problems of the Arab region. Egypt believes that Arab national security is closely related to Egyptian national security. Egypt is always affirming that Gulf security is an integral part of its national security. Egypt has participated in the Decisive Storm operation upon the request of the recognized Yemeni President, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

On the Yemeni crisis, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi affirmed that a united, capable, just and modern state is the only way to overcome crises and achieve the legitimate aspirations in Yemen and all the Arab peoples.

- After the Yemeni Revolution in February 2011, the Egyptian position was always based on supporting Yemen's territorial integrity and welcoming all UN and Security Council resolutions on Yemen, as well as supporting a peaceful settlement and national dialogue to reach a consensual solution.

- On 7/9/2014, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Yemeni counterpart Jamal al-Salal on the sidelines of the Arab League ministerial council. During the meeting, Salal conveyed Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi's greetings to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

- On February 23, 2015, Cairo decided to close its embassy in the capital Sana'a after the armed groups got the control over the country and in accordance with the Gulf and international stands to close the embassies in the capital Sana'a. The Foreign Ministry stressed the support for the legitimate institutions and symbols of the state and stressed the commitment of all parties to peaceful means   and dialogue. Egypt announced the opening of its embassy in Aden as a continuation of the political support for the legitimate authority in Yemen after President Mansour Hadi, took over the city. Egypt backed the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm against Houthi fighters in Iran-backed Houthis, a move backing Yemeni legitimacy. In addition, Egypt stood firmly against Iranian intervention in Yemen and its support for the Badr al-Din al-Houthi group. Egypt announced its cessation against the Shiite tide in the region and left the freedom of of choice to the Yemeni people.

- The Egyptian Foreign Ministry affirmed Cairo's support for the legitimate state, believing that the future of Yemen should be determined by consensus among the various political parties. It also stressed the importance of the commitment of all Yemeni political parties to continue the political dialogue under the auspices of the UN on the basis of the Gulf initiative as the only way to resolve the current crises of the country. This was reflected in the reception of President al-Sisi to the Vice President of the Republic of Yemen and Prime Minister Khalid Bahah in July 2015, as well as the Prime Minister meeting with Baha during his last visit to Cairo in June 2015.

- On 9/4/2020, Egypt welcomed the two-week ceasefire declared by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in the war-torn country. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Egypt lauds this key initiative and hopes it would pave the way for implementing the UN special envoy to Yemen’s call for a meeting between the country’s legitimate government and Houthi elements. The UN envoy has said such a meeting would discuss steps and mechanisms to implement a permanent ceasefire in Yemen and resume political talks with the aim of hammering out a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis. The statement noted that Cairo supports the ceasefire initiative as it helps achieve peace, security and stability in Yemen.It will also contribute to maintaining Yemeni unity and territorial integrity as well as easing the suffering of its people, the statement added.

- On 27/4/2020, Egypt underscored the importance of adhering to all articles related to the Riyadh Agreement on Yemen and nulling out any step-in contrary to the accord. The Foreign Ministry hailed, in a statement, the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen's statement on the Saudi brokered agreement. Egypt also called for accelerating the implementation of the agreements' articles favoring the Yemeni people's interests as well as efforts meant to restore the country's sovereignty and eradicate all terror groups, according to the statement. Moreover, Egypt reinstated support to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their pursue to maintain peace and stability in Yemen, the statement said.

- On 23/6/2020, Egypt welcomed an announcement by the Saudi-led Coalition to Support legitimacy in Yemen that the legitimate Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council have approved a comprehensive ceasefire and stopping of escalations in Yemen. Egypt also welcomed the stance by the two sides approving to participate in a meeting in Saudi Arabia to discuss means of implementing the Riyadh Agreement. Egypt also appreciated efforts made by Saudi Arabia for supporting the Yemeni people and expressed confidence that these efforts will lead to resuming the political process by the Yemeni parties for reaching a political solution to the Yemeni crisis. The Foreign Ministry confirmed in its statement Egypt's support for all efforts that are aimed at achieving peace, security and stability in Yemen and guarantees its unity.

- On 9/7/2020, Egyptian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Yemen Ahmed Farouk handed over a letter from Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli to Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik. The letter included an invitation to visit Cairo as soon as possible for consultations and discussions over the best way to boost mutual relations. Abdulmalik hailed Egypt’s support to Yemen and expressed his keenness on visiting Egypt to discuss boosting ties. Farouk also met with Yemeni Speaker of Parliament Sultan al-Barakani as they discussed the implementation of Riyadh agreement to end the Yemeni crisis. During the meeting, Barakani hailed Egypt’s role and support to Yemen and Yemeni expatriates in Egypt.

- On 28/9/2020, Egypt welcomed a prisoner exchange agreement signed ٍSunday between the Yemeni government and the Houthi group to immediately release 1,081 conflict-related detainees. Egypt commended the keen efforts exerted by the UN special envoy for Yemen and the International Committee of the Red Cross to strike the deal. Egypt called upon the parties involved to promptly implement of the prisoner swap deal in line with the provisions of the Stockholm Agreement, signed in December 2018 by the warring parties in Yemen, to support confidence-building measures and bring about a political settlement to the extended crisis in the conflict-torn country.

Visits of the Presidents

- On 27/3/2015, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi who arrived in Sharm El Sheikh to take part in the 26th meeting of the Arab summit .

- On 5/8/2015, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi received Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is currently in Egypt to take part in the inauguration of the New Suez Canal.

 - On 13/8/2018, President Abdel Fatah El Sisi received Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi at the Ittihadiya presidential palace, which will be followed by a press conference. The two Presidents held a bilateral meeting followed by extensive discussions between the two countries' delegations. They discussed mutual cooperation between the two countries to enhance the protection of maritime navigation in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait to avoid being negatively affected by the current situation in Yemen. President Sisi and the Yemeni President witnessed the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between the Central Bank of Egypt and the Yemeni Central Bank on cooperation in the banking sector, especially in the field of exchange of skills and training of officials in this sector.


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