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UAE-Saudi disagreement in Geneva puts Yemen’s unity at risk

Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, was seen with Abdel Rahman Al-Musibli, the representative of the separatist transitional council, and the former southern ambassador Ali Abdullah Al-Bujairi, along with Ahmed Shawqi, a journalist who works with the UAE in Geneva at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March, 2018 [File photo]
Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, was seen with Abdel Rahman Al-Musibli, the representative of the separatist transitional council, and the former southern ambassador Ali Abdullah Al-Bujairi, along with Ahmed Shawqi, a journalist who works with the UAE in Geneva at the United Nations Human Rights Council in March, 2018 [File photo]

On Wednesday, Al-Khaleej reported that there was a clear disagreement between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the United Nations Human Rights Council. This revolved around the fact that Riyadh resisting efforts to hold Coalition leaders accountable for conditions in Yemen.

On the other hand, it was noted that the UAE supports groups that promote the division of southern Yemen.

Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, was seen with Abdel Rahman Al-Musibli, the representative of the separatist transitional council, and the former southern ambassador Ali Abdullah Al-Bujairi, along with Ahmed Shawqi, a journalist who works with the UAE.

The UAE has ambitions in southern Yemen, especially in the Port of Aden; accordingly, it supports the southern separatist movement.

For weeks, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been embroiled in a three-year-old Arab coalition against Yemen, with Abu Dhabi’s ambitions to bolster its expansionist policy and strengthen its influence to control Yemen’s resources and implement its own agenda.

Read : Calls on UNHRC to investigate UAE recruitment of mercenaries in Yemen

The UAE has entered the Yemeni war to control Yemeni ports. Competition for control over the Red Sea has been a sensitive issue for Saudi Arabia since its inception.

Abu Dhabi also controls most of Yemen’s southern and eastern provinces, liberated from the Huthis, and appears to be determined to pursue its clear strategy to control southern Yemen.

On early February,  The Washington Post reported that the recent battles that have broken out in Aden, in southern Yemen, between the so-called Southern Transitional Council and President Hadi’s forces had exposed the fragility of the Saudi-UAE coalition.

For days, southern separatists have been in clashes with their loyal partners to forces of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and had seized Aden for a short period of time.

The two groups belong to the same Saudi-UAE coalition, which is fighting Houthi rebels who took control of the capital Sana’a and ousted Hadi’s government nearly three years ago.

The southern separatists formed the so-called Southern Transitional Council and have long sought to restore the southern state of Yemen, which existed before the unification of Yemen in 1990.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates disagree over some issues in Yemen. “Riyadh is converging with Yemen’s influential Yemeni Congregation for Reform, which is one of the branches of the Muslim Brotherhood, at a time when Abu Dhabi is opposed to any cooperation with this party,” according to the American newspaper which quoted Naysan Longley, Yemeni matters expert in the International Crisis Group.

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