UAE calls on Yemen government and STC to engage in Saudi-led dialogue

Unity is essential to confront Houthi rebels, Dr Anwar Gargash said

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash speaks to journalists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, June 18, 2018. The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition fighting against Shiite rebels for control of Yemen's port city of Hodeida. Gargash said Monday that the battle for Hodeida is aimed at forcing the country’s Shiite rebels into negotiating an end to a yearslong war. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
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Yemen’s government and the Southern Transitional Council must engage in the Saudi-led initiative that calls for dialogue to de-escalate fighting in the south, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said yesterday.

The Arab Coalition, which includes the UAE, has been fighting to restore the internationally recognised Yemeni government since 2015.

On Twitter, Dr Gargash said that the coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, was “solid and vital to regaining peace and stability in Yemen”.

He said internal unity and continued dialogue were essential to address and “confront the challenge of the Houthi coup”.

The campaign against rebels and extremist groups has been disrupted by infighting between forces allied to the government and those affiliated to the STC.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have called for the government and the STC to attend reconciliation talks in Jeddah so that they can resume their alliance against the Houthi rebels.

Although both sides have agreed to take part, the talks have been delayed by repeated clashes in Aden and other southern cities.

The STC had voiced its readiness for talks but fighting broke out again last Wednesday as Yemeni-government affiliated forces went on the offensive.

The UAE has repeatedly said that it is up to the Yemenis to resolve the conflict and the international community must spare no effort in its support for a peaceful resolution.

Dr Gargash expressed concern about terrorist activity by ISIS and Al Qaeda in the south. Al Qaeda and ISIS carried out frequent attacks in Aden in at the start of the civil war in 2015.

“The UAE as part of the coalition will continue to act firmly against the re-emergence of terror groups in Yemen,” he said.

The coalition has helped to restore security in Aden and has targeted Al Qaeda and ISIS in other areas of the south.

UAE forces and Yemeni forces trained by the UAE continue to target Al Qaeda and extremist militants in Yemen.