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Ansarullah urges UAE to withdraw its troops from Yemen after Saudi decision to end war

Emirati military personnel are seen at Zayed Military City in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, during a ceremony to celebrate members of the Armed Forces who participated in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. (File photo by UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs)

A senior member of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement says the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should withdraw its troops from Yemen after Saudi Arabia informed the so-called Yemeni presidential leadership council of the decision to put an end to the eight-year devastating war in Yemen after eight years of aggression.

Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of Ansarullah's political bureau made the remarks late on Friday according to Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network.

“We do not accept the presence of Emirati forces even on one inch of Yemeni soil. The UAE made a colossal mistake by joining Saudi Arabia in the Yemen invasion. It should, therefore, learn a lesson and pull out [as soon as possible],” al-Bukhaiti said.

He said, “there is an understanding between Saudi Arabia and Yemen,” without going into details.

Bukhaiti said that the understandings as well as initiatives for peaceful settlement of Yemen crisis will be announced in two phases: One before Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, and the other at another time.

“We support any proposals and efforts by Saudi Arabia or other parties to pacify the Yemeni crisis and reach a comprehensive political resolution of the conflict,” the senior Ansarullah official pointed out.

“All Yemeni parties and factions are duty-bound to contribute their share in achievement of a home-grown solution. This message is directed at the Yemenis, who participated in the [Saudi-led] aggression, urging them not to squander the available opportunity,” Bukhaiti said.

The remarks come amid reports that a Saudi-Omani delegation is planning to travel to Yemen's capital Sana’a next week to hash out a permanent ceasefire deal with officials from the National Salvation Government and end the country's eight-year-old conflict.

Two sources involved in the talks, requesting anonymity, said Yemen's warring parties could announce an agreement before Eid al-Fitr holiday – starting April 20 – if an agreement is reached.

The visit by Saudi officials to Sana’a is an indication of progress in Oman-mediated talks between the kingdom and the Ansarullah movement, which run in parallel to UN peace efforts.

It is also a sign that regional rifts are easing after Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic relations last month after years of estrangement.

‘Ansarullah to end Saudi aggression, lift siege’

Moreover, Mohammed Abdulsalam, the spokesman for Ansarullah movement, said his group will spare no effort to put an end to the Saudi military campaign in Yemen and lift the brutal blockade against the war-wracked country.

“We will continue our efforts through negotiations to end the aggression and lift the siege. God willing, these ideals will be achieved and the ensuing damage will be repaired. Such efforts will eventually result in a peace agreement that would serve the interests of our dear Yemeni compatriots from Sa’adah to al-Mahrah,” he wrote in a tweet.

On Friday Al-Mayadeen television news network, citing informed sources, reported that Saudi officials had recently held a closed-door meeting with the chairman and members of the so-called Yemeni presidential leadership council, which was established last April after the resignation of ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, to inform them about a peace plan for Yemen.

Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman briefed the council on Riyadh’s solution to end the crisis in Yemen, sources said, adding that the Saudis’ vision is to renew the existing UN-brokered truce for a year in an understanding with the Sana’a government.

Riyadh will pledge to pay the salaries of public servants, open Hudaydah port, and help settle the currency problems of Yemen in exchange for Sana’a’s acceptance of the truce, according to the report.

Saudi Arabia launched the bloody war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states to reinstall Hadi, who resigned from the presidency in late 2014 and later fled to Riyadh amid a political conflict with the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The war objective was also to crush the Ansarullah movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.

However, it has stopped well shy of all of its goals, despite killing tens of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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