The United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, tweeted late on Saturday that “the Saudi-UAE coalition is a strategic necessity in light of the surrounding challenges, and Yemen is a clear example.”
The UAE is a key player in a Saudi-led coalition that intervened militarily in the country in March 2015 to defeat Houthis and reinstate the internationally recognized Yemeni government of President Hadi.
“As a result of our strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia, it is the one deciding whether to continue our role in supporting stability in Yemen within the Arab coalition or not,” Gargash said.
Saudi Arabia, along with UAE, has been leading a military coalition in Yemen since 26 March 2015, in support of forces loyal to President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to retake northern areas controlled by Houthi group (Ansar Allah).
Southern separatists have exploited Yemen's war to enhance their presence, backed by the UAE that helped establishment of STC in May 2017 to consist of Yemeni southern bodies calling for separation, but also trained and armed local forces under STC command.
The STC claims to be representative for Yemeni southerners and seeks to impose control over all the south, but it is not fully supported by people there.
“Our engagement with Riyadh is ontological and more comprehensive, especially in the surrounding difficult circumstances and in light of our firm conviction of Riyadh’s pivotal and leading role.”