The Red Sea was of strategic importance to the United Kingdom due to both trade and as a route for its navy to pass through in order to reach India among other places. South of Yemen was the British Colony of Aden and Aden Protectorate which were at considerable risk of anti-colonialist rebellions. Italy had colonies of its own in the region: Eritrea and Somaliland, both of low profitability. There was considerable belief that increased ties with Yemen would fuel increased trade with the colonies and bring the region under the Italian sphere. The Yemeni Kingdom at this point had its eye on annexing Aden and, with the advent of Imam Yahya, also had aspirations for a Greater Yemen.