UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the Saudi-led coalition forces will remain in Yemen even after a political solution has been found to the civil war in order to protect the new Yemeni state.
Speaking to America’s Defence One site, the minister said: “Any Yemeni state that will emerge will in the beginning be a weak state, and will be harassed if we do not address terrorism.”
“I think this is a golden opportunity for us to decimate Al-Qaeda. We have huge success in various areas against Al-Qaeda,” he added.
The minister’s comments came after his country sparked a crisis over its attempts to occupy the Yemeni island of Socotra before withdrawing under pressure from the legitimate government and the international community.
The UAE is part of a Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting in Yemen against the Iran-backed Houthis and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The coalition entered the war in 2015 to reinstate the UN-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. However in recent months the UAE has been found to be backing the Southern Transitional Council in an effort to split Yemen in to two countries, North and South, contrary to the objectives of the coalition.