Saudi Arabia to decide on UAE role in Yemen, say the Emirates

Saudi Arabia is the one to decide on continuing the role of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs said Sunday.

“The Saudi-UAE coalition is a strategic necessity in light of the surrounding challenges, and Yemen is a clear example,” Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.

“On the basis of our strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia, it is the one deciding whether to continue our role in supporting stability in Yemen within the Arab coalition or not,” he said in another tweet.

The UAE is a member of the Saudi-led coalition that has launched a massive air campaign in 2015 against the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, which overran much of Yemen, including capital Sanaa, a year earlier.

“Our engagement with Riyadh is ontological and more comprehensive, especially in the surrounding difficult circumstances and in light of our firm conviction of Riyadh’s pivotal and leading role,” Gargash said.

Calls have grown inside the Yemeni government for expelling the UAE from the Saudi-led coalition after UAE-backed separatist forces took control of all government military camps and the presidential palace in the southern city of Aden.

According to the UN office in Yemen, at least 40 civilians have been killed and 260 injured in the clashes between UAE-backed separatists and government forces in Aden since Aug. 8.