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Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed holds vital talks with Yemeni President

ABU DHABI // Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday held talks with Yemen’s visiting leader on the future of his country and plans to help rebuild it.

Yemeni president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi arrived on Wednesday for a two-day visit including talks with Sheikh Mohammed, also Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The two discussed progress made by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which includes the UAE, battling the country’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels to restore the government to power.

Mr Hadi gave his condolences to Sheikh Mohammed over the Emirati heroes who have given their lives defending Yemen.

Sheikh Mohammed affirmed the UAE’s commitment to support the legitimacy of Mr Hadi’s government and restore security and stability to his country, and to provide its people with the humanitarian aid it urgently needs.

‘’What the UAE is doing, under the umbrella of the Saudi-led Arab coalition to support Yemen and its people, springs from deep conviction of the vital importance of joint Arab solidarity and co-operation to protect the Arab region from foreign ambitions, risks and interventions, and to stand with full force and resolve against any attempt to undermine its security and stability,’’ he said.

Sheikh Mohammed said he hoped that welfare and peace would prevail in Yemen and that its people would enjoy security and stability.

“The UAE, under the leadership of President Sheikh Khalifa, will never be lacking in advancing and supporting Arab causes and rights,” he said.

“And we will never hesitate to participate in and back any efforts aimed at preserving and safeguarding the Gulf and Arab national security.”

Mr Hadi expressed profound gratitude and thanks to the UAE and paid glowing tributes to Sheikh Khalifa for the UAE’s unflinching support for Yemen.

He hailed the UAE’s active role in humanitarian relief, implementing development projects and programmes to rehabilitate health, education, utilities and public services.

“The blend of Emirati blood with that of Yemeni blood on Yemeni soil delivers a great lesson of solidarity and cooperation among fellow people and exemplifies the common Arab destiny,” Mr Hadi said.

“These sacrifices from the UAE people will remain engraved in the hearts of the Yemeni people, and the role the UAE is playing in this phase will be remembered throughout history.”

Also on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, met Yemeni foreign minister Riyadh Yassin.

The two emphasised the need to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that backed the legitimacy of the Yemen government and the efforts of GCC nations to support it. The resolution also called for the immediate withdrawal by the Houthis of any territory and weapons seized.

Mr Yassin on Wednesday expressed gratitude to the Arab coalition and the UAE for their dedication and support of Yemen’s security and stability.

The two sides expressed optimism over the developments, especially the liberation of Aden from Houthi militias and their allies.

Mr Hadi and senior members of his government were forced to flee the southern port of Aden for Riyadh when the Shiite rebels invaded the city in March. The city was retaken by loyalist troops last month.

On March 26, the UAE and the coalition began conducting air strikes against the Houthis in the first phase of the operation, codenamed Decisive Storm.

Also on Wednesday, the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation sent a relief ship loaded with 4,000 tonnes of food and emergency aid to Yemen. An official source at the foundation said the ship sailed from Jebel Ali in Dubai bound for Aden.

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(via The National)