Saudi diplomat accuses UAE of betrayal in southern Yemen

DAILY SABAH
Istanbul
Published 06.09.2019 00:18

A Saudi diplomat accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of treason on Tuesday, saying that Abu Dhabi has "fooled" Riyadh in war-torn Yemen through its ambitions in the southern part of the country. "Our open enmity to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood group does not mean in any way that we become fooled by efforts to move beyond agreed-upon strategic objectives in conformity with international law, by passing absurd and divisive projects," Salman Al-Ansari, the president of the Saudi-American Public Relations Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), wrote on Twitter. "Narrow-mindedness is a problem," he added, describing what the UAE is doing in Yemen as "treason," as reported by Middle East Monitor.

Al-Ansari did not explicitly mention the UAE, however, his statements revolve around Abu Dhabi's latest policy through which it seeks to extend its control of separatist forces in the southern areas of the country to divide it.

The UAE-backed southern separatists seized control of government military bases and the Port of Aden, one of the most strategic positions in the country, earlier this month, fracturing the Saudi-led alliance battling the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government accused the UAE of staging an "armed rebellion." The UAE is a major partner in a Saudi-led military campaign that is supporting Yemen's internationally recognized government against the Houthi rebels, who are in control of the capital Sanaa. But ties between Saudi Arabia and the UAE have soured recently.

Long the Arab world's poorest nation, Yemen is now split along two fronts after years of conflict that has left tens of thousands of people dead and pushed the country to the brink of famine. On one front, southern forces and the government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, are both battling the Houthis who are aligned with Riyadh's archfoe Iran. On the other, the so-called Security Belt Forces, dominated by the UAE backed-separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), are fighting to regain the south's independence.

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