UAE to reopen embassy in Yemen's south, backing Hadi

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 27, 2015 9:58 AM

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates will reopen its Yemeni embassy in the southern port city of Aden, the state news agency WAM said on Friday, where Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has set up a seat of power since being driven from the capital.

Sanaa was captured in September by the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi militia, which placed Hadi under house arrest and forced him to announce his resignation. However, parliament never approved the resignation, and on Sunday Hadi fled to Aden.

An aide to Hadi said on Thursday that Yemen's neighbor Saudi Arabia, the Sunni-ruled main Gulf Arab power, was moving its ambassador to Aden.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the UAE had made its decision "in order to entrench constitutional legitimacy in Yemen, embodied by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government", according to WAM.

Arab countries and Western states this month evacuated their embassies in Sanaa following a power grab by the Iranian-backed Houthis, viewed with suspicion by the Gulf's mostly Sunni Muslim rulers.

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The prospect of rival centers of power competing for control of Yemen has raised fears that the impoverished and heavily-armed country may be headed for civil war.

(Reporting By Ahmed Tolba and Noah Browning; Editing by Kevin Liffey)