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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Gargash says claims of UAE ambitions in Yemen 'unfortunate'

The UAE minister reiterates that his country has no ulterior motives in Yemen

UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash delivers a speech during the fifth edition of the University's Commencement Exercises of New York University Abu Dhabi. Ali Haider / EPA
UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash delivers a speech during the fifth edition of the University's Commencement Exercises of New York University Abu Dhabi. Ali Haider / EPA

UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said some Yemeni officials’ statements on the Emirates’ role in the war were “unfortunate”.

“It is unfortunate that some Yemeni government officials are comparing the Emirati role with Iran’s role,” he tweeted on Monday.

“Those losing the compass will not let us forget our main mission within the Arab coalition to beat the Houthi rebellion and reinforce the state and projects of development.”

A Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, intervened in the Yemen war in March 2015 to fight the Iran-backed Houthi rebels at the request of the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

The Arab coalition has said that Tehran sends weapons to the Yemeni rebels from Lebanon’s southern suburb of Beirut — a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group. Iran continues to deny involvement despite evidence presented by the US and UN.

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UAE’s Gargash says Socotra presence ‘not strategic’

UAE slams critics of Arab coalition’s role in Yemen

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Dr Gargash responded to statements made by Yemen’s Interior Minister Ahmed Mysari, who reportedly criticised the UAE’s role and tried to cast doubt on its ambitions in the country.

“Should I remind Minister Ahmed Al Mysari of the sacrifice of the martyr, Saeed Al Hajeri, and his colleagues on the field? Aim your bullets towards the Houthis, your excellency, the minister,” Dr Gargash tweeted on Sunday.

Al Hajeri, a member of the UAE Armed Forces, was killed last week in battle in Yemen.

Dr Gargash has repeatedly said that neither his country nor the Arab coalition has “greedy ambitions” in Yemen or territorial ones on the Yemeni islands of Socotra.

"The UAE’s role in Socotra is not strategic," he told state news agency WAM on the sidelines of the annual Globesec forum in Bratislava, Slovakia. "The UAE does not have any ambitions on the archipelago. It is a Yemeni territory.”

"I assure you in a month’s time another development will arise to criticise the UAE. Why is this happening ... because the UAE has been active and effective."