Anwar Gargash said the UAE and the rest of the Saudi-led coalition will maintain its military presence in Yemen.
Rabat – The United Arab Emirates (UAE), part of a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, will not leave the war-ravaged country despite the ongoing reduction of Emirati forces, a senior official has said.
“Just to be clear, the UAE and the rest of the coalition are not leaving Yemen,” said Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, in an opinion piece published on Monday, July 22 in the Washington Post.
“While we will operate differently, our military presence will remain. In accordance with international law, we will continue to advise and assist local Yemen forces,” he added.
The UAE is a key partner in the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition. The coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to restore the internationally acknowledged government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against the Houthi rebels.
Earlier this month, the UAE announced it was curtailing and redeploying troops in Yemen.
Emirati officials have declared the UAE is not leaving a vacuum in Yemen, saying it trained about 90,000 local fighters and remains committed to the coalition and the dismissed Yemeni government.
After the withdrawal of UAE troops , Saudi Arabia moved in to secure two strategic Red Sea ports and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.
Gargash said the Houthis should see the UAE move as a “confidence-building measure to create new momentum to end the conflict.”
“As the United Arab Emirates draws down and redeploys its forces in Yemen, we do so in the same way we began – with eyes wide open,” he said.
“There was no easy victory and there will be no easy peace. But now is the time to double down on the political process.”
Several rounds of UN-sponsored talks have failed to implement any deal to end the war. The fighting has triggered what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Sor far reports show 3.3 million people have been displaced and 24.1 million, more than two-thirds of the population, are in need of aid.