Saudi, UAE issue joint call to end south Yemen fighting – World

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates attempted to dispel any notion of a dispute over the fighting in southern Yemen, renewing a call for dialogue between the parties to the conflict.

The Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia, was expelled last month from key areas in the south by southern separatists supported by the United Arab Emirates, exposing slow-fire divisions that, according to analysts, undermine the joint campaign against the Houthi rebels linked to Iran.

But in a joint statement published by the state media of both countries, the Gulf powers sought to appear united, as they "reaffirmed continued support for the legitimate government of Yemen."

The two countries called on the belligerent parties to immediately cease "all military operations" and "stop media propaganda" that fuels hostilities, the statement said.

Have a look: Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen prison, dozens dead

Last month, the fight between separatists and government supporters opened a new front in the complex Yemen war.

The Security Belt Forces, dominated by the secessionist Southern Transition Council, took control of the southern city of Aden, which has served as the government's base since it was expelled from the Sanaa capital by the Huthis in 2014.

The clashes between the separatists and the government forces, which for years fought on the same side against the Houthis, have generated fears that the country can separate completely.

Last week, Riyadh issued a warning to the separatists backed by Abu Dhabi, saying that any attempt to destabilize Yemen amounted to a threat to the kingdom, and emphasized that there was no "alternative" to the government.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015, when the Houthi rebels approached Aden, which led President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi exile.

Since then, the conflict killed tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, and brought millions more to the brink of famine in what the United Nations calls the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.



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