Yemen PM arrives on cyclone island as part of government \'return\'
ADEN (Yemen) - Yemen's prime minister, exiled in Saudi Arabia because of the conflict raging in his country, arrived Sunday on the island of Socotra and announced his government's return.
Socotra, a Yemeni island in the Arabian Sea, has been spared the fighting on the mainland between Iran-backed Huthi Shiite rebels and pro-government forces.
The official Saba news agency said Khaled Bahah arrived on an inspection visit on Socotra 350 kilometres (210 miles) off the mainland after it was hit by two tropical cyclones a week apart.
Cyclones Chapala and Megh killed 26 people on Socotra and in southeast Yemen.
"This visit is part of the return of the government, with all its members, to carry out their functions inside Yemeni territory," Saba quoted Bahah has saying.
It did not specify where ministers would be based following their hasty departure in early October from Aden, Yemen's second city, after a deadly attack on the provisional seat of government in a hotel.
Security issues forced both Bahah and President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to go back to Riyadh after they had returned to Aden in September from six months of exile in Saudi Arabia.
The UN says that some 5,000 people, more than half of them civilians, have been killed in Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in March in support of Bahah's internationally recognised government.
The World Meteorological Organization has said that tropical cyclones are extremely rare over the Arabian Peninsula, and two back-to-back was "an absolutely extraordinary event".