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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 March 2019

Anwar Gargash: UAE position in Yemen is to restore legitimacy to its government

Abu Dhabi has played a ‘historic and courageous’ role, says UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, speaks during a press conference at his office in Dubai on June 24, 2017. AFP
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, speaks during a press conference at his office in Dubai on June 24, 2017. AFP

The UAE’s position in resolving the war in Yemen has been to restore legitimacy to Yemen’s internationally recognised government, Dr Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said on Monday.

Abu Dhabi has been involved in a four-year war in the Arab world’s poorest country. Along with Saudi Arabia, it intervened on behalf of the Yemeni government in response to the takeover by Iran-backed Houthi rebels of the capital, Sanaa, along with large amounts of territory.

“The UAE’s role in Yemen is historic, honorable and courageous, it is in response to the call of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to support the legitimate government and undermine the Houthis,” Dr Gargash said on Twitter.

“The UAE’s role is through the support of political administration, finance and men,” Dr Gargash said.

The Houthis' control of Sanaa in 2014 presented a threat of regime change at a time when the region was dealing with the fall out of the Arab uprisings in 2011.

Last week, a letter was sent on behalf of the government of UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the UN Security Council accusing the Houthis of failing to comply by a deal agreed to redeploy forces away from Hodediah’s three main ports.

During UN-led peace talks in Sweden the government and Houthi rebels agreed to a prisoner exchange deal as well as the withdrawal of troops from the port city of Hodeidah.

The deal is yet to be implemented with the government placing the blame on the Houthis for hindering the process.

In the letter, sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, officials from the three countries urged the Security Council to pressure the Houthis to uphold their commitments.

“The sudden and unexplained refusal by the Houthis to withdraw from the ports of Saleef and Ras Eisa comes as no surprise after months of stalling tactics from their side,” said the letter signed by the three UN ambassadors.

The Security Council is due to discuss Yemen on March 19 as concerns increase that the fragile truce agreement might be on the verge of collapse.

Updated: March 11, 2019 02:30 PM

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