Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said yesterday that Abu Dhabi and Riyadh share the same stance on Yemen, as both countries want “stability” and the “return of the state” in the country.
In a tweet published in Arabic, Gargash said the UAE-Saudi stance constitutes a “good strategic partnership, strengthened day after day.”
This comes after reports that a rift had developed between the two Gulf states regarding their position on the Yemen crisis.
Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi sacked the governor of the Yemeni city of Aden and a key cabinet minister. Both officials, Aidarous Zubaidi and Hani Buraik, are considered by observers to be backed by the UAE.
Two days after the Yemeni president’s move, which was criticised by Emirati officials, Saudi King Salman welcomed Hadi in Jeddah. During Saturday’s meeting, Salman stressed Riyadh’s support for Yemen and the “constitutional legitimacy” that the Yemeni president represents.
Since 26 March 2015, a Saudi-led military coalition has launched operations in Yemen against the Shia, Iran-backed Houthi militias. A member of the coalition, the UAE deploys 30 fighter jets in the conflict, coming second after Saudi Arabia which deploys 100 fighter jets. The coalition’s strikes came in response to a request from Hadi who asked for “protection” for Yemen and its people against the “Houthi militias’ aggression”. Houthis seized the Yemeni capital Sana’a in September 2014. They are supported by forces allied to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh.