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UAE puts pressure on Yemen president over his ties with Islamists

Supporters hold portraits of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi during a protest in Ma'rib, Yemen on 3 November, 2016 [Ali Owidha/Anadolu Agency]
Supporters hold portraits of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi during a protest in Ma'rib, Yemen on 3 November, 2016 [Ali Owidha/Anadolu Agency]

The United Arab Emirates put pressure on Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to stop cooperating with the Yemeni Reform Party, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, intelligenceonline.com revealed early this week.

According to the website, Abu Dhabi is concerned with the ties between the Islamist party and the Yemeni government, which is part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition that includes the UAE.

The website also said that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz had personally intervened to sort out the problem.

Reportedly, the UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan invited Hadi for discussions on 27 February in the wake of the battles that erupted in January to seize control over Aden Airport.

During the meeting, which was attended by security and military leaders, Al-Nahyan informed Hadi about his reservations on the relationship with the Reform Party, which Al-Nahyan said is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Nahyan claimed that 14 leaders of the Reform Party, which is part of the coalition of the Yemeni government, have links to Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula. This despite the fact that Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are ideologically opposed.

The report said that Hadi pledged to discuss the issue with the Reform Party and if such claims were proved true, he would ask for sacking them.

Meanwhile, the report said that Hadi’s son, who is the leader of the presidential protection unit, was severely criticised during the meeting as the UAE claims he conceded wide swathes of land in the south to Al-Qaeda.

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