x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Majority in UAE want GCC role in resolving Yemen issue, poll says

A majority of UAE residents want the country to have a key role in resolving the Yemen conflict, a poll shows.

ABU DHABI // A majority of UAE residents want the country to have a key role in resolving the Yemen conflict, a poll shows.

A total of 55 per cent of respondents said the Gulf Co-operation Council should play a major role in ending the current situation where protesters want to oust the president, the survey of 711 people for Al Aan television's Nabd al Arab (Arabs' Pulse) programme by YouGov Siraj showed. And only 7 per cent of people wanted US involvement.

The figures were supported by Rami Khouri, the director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at American University in Beirut, who said Arab countries are "stepping up more".

Survey results reflected a shifting mood in the UAE, according to Maysoon Baraky, the host of Nabd al Arab. "People haven't always thought negatively of US intervention, but now they think Gulf countries will offer more effective and positive intervention," she said.

In the same survey, 47 per cent of people said that the US should stay out of the Middle East. And 77 per cent of Emiratis and 67 per cent of Arab expatriates want no US involvement in the Middle East.

A further 23 per cent said the US should offer "antiterrorism intelligence information", but no money.

Following more than a month of demonstrating in Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the main opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting Parties, agreed to a plan brokered by the GCC for Mr Saleh to cede power in a month's time and be granted immunity from prosecution.

The proposal is due to be signed by both parties in Saudi Arabia tomorrow.

According to Dr Khouri, the Gulf's political involvement in Yemen shows a new maturity among GCC governments.

He said: "Arab countries are stepping up more and it's a historic development that reflects a new dynamism. The GCC seems more willing to act, whether that includes political involvement, financial or military help, and I think it's welcomed."

mdetrie@thenational.ae