UAE forces have done their job in Yemen, Gargash says

Minister says war was unwelcome but unavoidable, and attention must now turn to finding a lasting political solution.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed greets Dr Gargash at the majlis. Mohamed Al Hammadi / Crown Prince Court Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI // The UAE military has played its part to the fullest and Yemen now needs a political solution to find a lasting peace, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs told a Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Ramadan majlis on Wednesday.

And in a tweet summarising Dr Anwar Gargash’s remarks, Sheikh Mohammed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said: “Our standpoint is clear: war is over for our troops. We are monitoring political arrangements, empowering Yemenis in liberated areas.”

In his lecture, entitled The UAE, the Coalition and the Yemen Crisis: The Necessary Decision, Dr Gargash discussed the difficult choice the UAE made to become involved in the war in Yemen and the disappointing results of peace talks.

“After 50 discouraging days of Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait, there is no unified vision for the future. There are alarming signs that the south wants to defect and that radicalism is on the rise,” Dr Gargash said.

Other obstacles Yemen faces include the rise of Al Qaeda with the support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the minister said.

Dr Gargash criticised Iranian influence for fuelling sectarian divisions in the region and “exporting chaos”.

“War was never the choice but it was the only solution after exhausting all other outcomes,” he said.

“The future of stability means taking a bigger stance when it comes to national security. Legitimacy needs to be restored and the Iranian influence has to be stopped. It’s time that the line be drawn.”

Dr Gargash applauded the efforts of the Armed Forces to accomplished their goals in Yemen, and noted the important role the coalition with Saudi Arabia had played.

“The UAE’s military accomplishments might have surprised some people but certainly not us. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed has invested in his people and his tactical vision has produced a stellar military force,” Dr Gargash said.

He said the coalition had clear goals that resulted in more achievable victories when compared with other conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The minister also praised the soldiers who had died in the line of duty.

"Our standpoint today is clear: war is over for our troops; we're monitoring political arrangements, empowering Yemenis in liberated areas"

“The majority of Yemeni land is under the control of the legitimate government, but all the victories and happiness were also mixed with tears and emotions at the great sacrifices that exemplified patriotism and loyalty.”

Dr Gargash said that the “UAE was reborn” in the testing time it had undergone, and that although the country would help to rebuild Yemen, ultimately “building Yemen is the role of the Yemenis”.

He emphasised the brotherly ties between the two nations that date back to the days of the Founding Father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed.

The lecture was attended by dignitaries including Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Amal Al Qubaisi, the speaker of the FNC.