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UAE under Saudi pressure to continue Yemen war: Activist

A handout image made available by the United Arab Emirates News Agency (WAM) on September 5, 2015 shows members of the Emirati armed forces carrying the bodies of comrades killed the previous day in Yemen. (Via AFP)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Hazem Salem, a political activist, about recent developments regarding the participation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the war against Yemen.

A rough transcription of the interview appears below.

Press TV: What do you think happened in those hours where that statement initially was released saying the UAE was not going to remain in Yemen but now it is?

Salem: Absolutely, a lot of Saudi pressure on the United Arab Emirates to take steps back and withdraw that kind of statement, because it shows that the allies of Saudi Arabia in this war are stepping away from it and that the stance of Saudi Arabia in Yemen is getting weaker and weaker.

Also this statement by United Arab Emirates goes against the interest of the Saudi-imposed government that is negotiating and President Hadi and his group. And this will also tell them that they don’t have much legitimacy and much regional support and this will be for the rest of the people of Yemen on the other side of the table.

Therefore, I think there has been Saudi pressure to withdraw; but the fact remains that the alliance that has [been] built by Saudi Arabia in Yemen has been disintegrated and the United Arab Emirates will not be sincere anymore in supporting Saudi Arabia. And I think that this is best for the will of the people of Yemen against the Saudi-imposed government or the so-called government by President Hadi.

Press TV: Mr. Salem, what do you think has changed for the Emiratis? Do you think it is that public is now losing its support essentially for this war?

Salem: Well, actually the United Arab Emirates, like Saudi Arabia, like others, believed that the war in Yemen will take probably weeks, if not few months, but it has lasted for more than a year without much achievement and without achieving the Saudi goal or the American goal in Yemen. And that’s why the United Arab Emirates is fed up. It has lost some 80 people and it has lost helicopters and it continues to lose more.

And there is probably or... certainly the public opinion inside the United Arab Emirates say ‘Withdraw our people from Yemen; it’s not our war.’

And that’s why the statement came basically for the public opinion inside [the] Emirates and then withdrawn by the Saudi pressure.

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