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Leak: UAE attempted to influence Obama policy in Yemen

July 3, 2017 at 1:13 pm

The UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba, tried to influence former American President Barack Obama’s policy in Yemen, the Intercept newspaper reported.

Leaked emails from Al-Otaibi appear to show that the Emirati diplomat tried to convince Robert Malley, then a top Middle East advisor to Obama, that human rights reporting which was critical of the US-backed bombing coalition in Yemen was unfairly biased.

During the exchange, which took place in June 2016, Malley responded in disbelief: “Seriously? Believing in human rights is a bias?”

Read: 5 civilians, not militants, killed in raid by US in Yemen

The former US official confirmed the authenticity of the emails to the Intercept but declined to comment further, the organisation said.

The UAE is a key member of the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen war, which has killed thousands of people, destroyed hospitals, food sources and water infrastructure, and left seven million people on the brink of starvation.