UAE backs Yemeni separatist position despite Salman-MBZ meeting

Abu Dhabi (Debriefer)
2019-08-12 | Since 4 Month

MBZ at meeting with King Salman, Monday

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed (MBZ) has taken a stance in harmony with that of the Emirati-backed separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), despite his Monday meeting in Mecca with the Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz.

Following the meeting, MBZ, also the deputy commander of UAE armed forces, praised the Saudi invitation for dialogue between the Yemeni internationally-recognized government and STC in the kingdom, the Emirati news agency (WAM) reported.

MBZ ignored the call by the Saudi-led coalition, in which the UAE is key partner, upon the STC to pull back it forces from positions they had seized from government in Aden after 4-day fierce fighting.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince urged Yemeni parties infighting over Aden to avail themselves of the Saudi invitation for dialogue, to reach an accord giving the Yemen's interests top priority, said WAM, with no mention of the STC withdrawal.

The Emirati de facto ruler's stance agrees with that of the Emirati-backed separatist STC that has accepted the Saudi call for dialogue but refused to withdraw from government camps.

On Saturday, the STC forces seized full control over the Yemeni southern port city of Aden, seat of the official government, as the coalition called on the STC to pull back its forces from positions and threatened to "use military force."

The separatists rejected call for withdrawal, pushing the coalition to strike three empty posts in the presidential palace and camp under STC control.

Disagreement on the two gulf states' stances reflects dispute between KSA and UAE over Yemen, particularly after the latter scaled down last June its troops as part of the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen since 26 March 2015, in support of forces loyal to President Hadi to retake northern areas controlled by Houthi (Ansarullah) group.

Southern separatists have exploited Yemen's war to enhance their presence in the south, backed by the UAE that helped the STC establishment in May 2017 to consist of bodies calling for separation, but also trained and armed local forces under STC command.

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