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Yemen’s Hadi thanks UAE for its help

RIYADH // President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi has commended the UAE’s contributions in Yemen and praised the level of relations between the countries.

The Yemeni leader said his meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, during his recent visit to the UAE had “widened the horizons of the distinguished relations between the two countries”.

Mr Hadi told the UAE ambassador to Yemen, Salem Khalifa Al Ghafli, who called on him at his residence in the Saudi capital on Sunday, that the people of Yemen would not forget the stance of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab countries and its support for his country’s legitimacy.

The coalition, in which the UAE is playing a key role, is conducting a military campaign against Houthi rebels and their allies who have overrun the Yemeni capital and large areas of the country, as well as providing assistance to civilians affected by the conflict.

Jets from the coalition targeted rebel Houthi positions in the Yemeni port of Hodeida early on Tuesday, destroying cranes and warehouses.

Mr Al Ghafli conveyed greetings from the UAE’s leadership to Mr Hadi and confirmed its continuous support for Yemen, especially during the current critical situation in the country.

In Cario, meanwhile, the Arab League condemned the occupation of the UAE embassy in Sanaa by Houthi rebels.

The item was added to the agenda of an extraordinary meeting called to discuss the situation in Libya at the request of the UAE deputy permanent representative to the bloc, Khalifa Al Tunaiji.

Mr Al Tunaiji referred to a statement issued by the UAE’s ministry of foreign affairs in which it called for the rebels’ immediate evacuation from the embassy and its return to embassy staff, adding that the UAE retains the right to bring perpetrators of this attack to justice.

He noted that the occupation of the embassy would not deter the UAE’s support for the restoration of stability to Yemen.

Representatives at the meeting collectively denounced the attack on the embassy and warned about dangers posed by ISIL, especially in Libya, and called for concerted efforts to tackle it.

On the ground in Yemen, there were clashes the third city of Taiz overnight from Monday to Tuesday, Arab television stations reported, as local groups opposed to the Houthis attempted to consolidate recent advances to take the city.

As well as retaining a foothold in Taiz, the Houthis and allied army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh control the northern highlands and Red Sea coastal plain as far south as Ibb, where coalition-backed forces advanced last week.

Anti-Houthi groups helped by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have pushed the northern militia out of some southern provinces since late July, but while that has allowed aid to reach Aden in the south, the humanitarian crisis elsewhere remains critical.

On Tuesday the International Committee of the Red Cross said it was “extremely concerned” by a growing number of corpses being abandoned in the country’s war zones.

“With the escalation of the fighting, more casualties are being left behind owing to the increased danger associated with retrieving the wounded and the dead,” said Nourane Houas, head of the ICRC’s protection department in Yemen.

“International humanitarian law requires that dead bodies be treated properly and with respect,” the ICRC said in a statement.

Anti-Houthi forces suffered their first serious setback after a series of advances on Tuesday when rebels ambushed and surrounded pro-government fighters advancing in the south, setting off a battle that killed 80 – 65 loyalists and 15 Houthis.

Officials said the fighting took place near the Aqaba Tara area, as anti-rebel forces sought to advance from Abyan into Bayda province.

The rebels had managed to knock out eight armoured vehicles and four tanks, which were left burning, the officials added.

* Agencies

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(via The National)