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Yemen president visits UAE after months of tensions

June 13, 2018 at 9:09 am

Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is received by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, on 11 June 2018 [WAM]

Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi arrived in the UAE yesterday in the first such official visit after months of strained relations between his government and Abu Dhabi over its practices in Yemen’s southern and eastern regions.

The governmental news agency Saba stressed that Hadi’s visit comes at the official invitation of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed Bin Zayed, based on consultations with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman who acted as a mediator.

Hadi had previously met with Bin Zayed in the Muslim holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia and discussed “steady progress towards achieving the goals of the ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ in Yemen”, in reference to the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive in war-torn Yemen.

“After the meeting, Hadi will go to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday for an official visit to discuss developments related to intensifying efforts to liberate the rest of Yemen,” it added.

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Saudi Arabia and the UAE are part of an 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 Hadi. However 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.

The UAE’s actions in the Yemeni island of Socotra, where it has been building a military base without Yemeni government approval, with Hadi saying the Emirates is leading a “coup” in Yemen.

The Emirates is expected to begin an offensive to recapture the strategic Red Sea port town of Hudaydah from the Houthis this week after besieging the city for several months.