UAE rejects charges, swears by coalition
People walk on a street in Aden, Yemen.- Reuters file photo
New York - Al Shamsi reaffirmed the UAE's support for the restoration of legitimacy and stability in Yemen.
The UAE on Wednesday rejected accusations it supported Yemeni separatists in their seizure of interim capital Aden, as the government refused talks with secessionists until they fully withdraw. "We regret hearing allegations directed against the UAE regarding developments in Aden, which we categorically reject," said the UAE's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Saud Al Shamsi.
In an address before a Special Ministerial Meeting convened by the UN Security Council on Tuesday regarding challenges to peace and security in the Middle East, Al Shamsi underscored the UAE's extreme concern over criticism following armed clashes in Aden between the Legitimate Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council (STC). He reaffirmed the UAE's call for calm and de-escalation in order to maintain peace and security for the people of Yemen.
Al Shamsi clarified that this remains the UAE's position as a key partner in the Saudi-led Coalition, pointing out the enormous sacrifices made by the UAE. "Accordingly, the UAE firmly refutes all accusations espoused against the backdrop of differences and divisions in which the UAE takes no part."
In his address, Al Shamsi reaffirmed the UAE's support for the restoration of legitimacy and stability in Yemen. He underlined that it was at the official request of the Legitimate Government of Yemen that the UAE became a member of the Saudi-led coalition and took decisive action against Houthi attacks.
Al Shamsi provided an overview of the UAE's role in Yemen, stating, "We must not forget the significant role that my country has taken on in liberating Aden and other territories occupied by the Houthi coup militias while preventing terror organisations from exploiting the security vacuum during this difficult and sensitive time."
"The UAE was able to play a role in major efforts to rebuild liberated areas and offer material and technical assistance to the Yemeni people while contributing to efforts to confront the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Moreover, the UAE has supported all efforts by the coalition to safeguard freedom of navigation in the Bab El Mandeb Strait and Red Sea," he argued.
Al Shamsi clarified that the UAE undertook these efforts in light of the inability of the Legitimate Government of Yemen to manage its internal affairs and its weak performance in view of the climate of widespread internal political and regional divisions that the government has been unable to address through constructive dialogue.
He renewed the UAE's repeated and sustained calls for dialogue between all parties to end internal disputes and achieve unity towards the preservation of peace and stability, stating, "It is inappropriate for the Government of Yemen to lay blame for its political and administrative failure on the UAE."
"As a coalition partner, the UAE will continue to make all efforts to pursue de-escalation in the south of Yemen," he said, emphasising that the UAE was a vital member of the joint delegation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to maintain the integrity of national institutions in Aden during developments regarding the STC. The UAE also worked to coordinate dialogue and achieve peace and stability among all parties.
"This is the expected role of states that consider the region's peace and security a major topic of discussion today."
Meanwhile, the leader of southern Yemeni separatists has arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks aimed at ending a standoff in Aden port between the separatists and Yemen's Saudi-backed government.
Saudi Arabia, the coalition leader, called for a summit after the separatists on August 10 took over Aden, interim seat of the government.
It was not clear if a delayed meeting involving both Yemeni sides would go ahead after the separatists extended their grip on the south on Tuesday by seizing government military camps in nearby Abyan.
The separatist fighters are part of the Saudi-led alliance that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthis, who ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014. His government rebased to Aden.
The Yemeni government, however, said it would not hold talks with the separatists unless they hand back control of Aden port.
"We will not participate in any dialogue with the STC unless it withdraws for the sites it seized, hands over weapons, allows government forces to return and ends all its violations," said a foreign ministry statement.