Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed is working to break up with Saudi Arabia due to disapproval of Saudi policies in the region, according to secret diplomatic documents published by Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar.
"Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed is working on breaking up with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Jordan's Ambassador to Lebanon Nabil Masarwa quoted his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdel-Al al-Qenaie as saying in a document issued Sept. 20, 2017, as reported by al-Jazeera.
"Saudi policies are failing both domestically and abroad, especially in Lebanon," the Jordanian envoy said, informing his government after meeting his UAE counterpart Hamad bin Saeed al-Shamsi, according to a document released on Sept. 28, 2017. "The UAE is dissatisfied with Saudi policies," he said.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pumped billions of dollars into fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, but the Gulf States' three-year campaign risks being derailed after their local allies turned on each other in February. It was a serious setback for the Saudi-led coalition whose thousands of air strikes have so far failed to deliver victory over seasoned Houthi fighters aligned with Iran.
Riyadh and its allies see victory in Yemen, where they are backed by U.S. weapons and intelligence, as vital if they are to counter Iran's growing influence in the Middle East, a priority for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have presented their cultivation of different factions on the anti-Houthi side as a division of labor aimed at the same goal, but the contradictions of the policy have lately become clear.
During the Gulf crisis, the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, cut off travel and trade ties with Qatar last June, accusing it of supporting terrorism and their archrival Iran. Doha has denied the charges and has said the countries aim to curtail its sovereignty. The dispute pits key U.S. allies against each other and has complicated efforts to maintain a united front against Iran.