UAE 'looking to ditch' Yemen's President Hadi for Saleh

UAE 'looking to ditch' Yemen's President Hadi for Saleh
Reports have been emerging of a split between Riyadh-based President Hadi and UAE's Prince Mohammed bin Zayed since February, and now the UAE wants him gone.
2 min read
15 July, 2017
Hadi supporters in Ma'rib, Yemen in November 2016 [Anadolu]
The Prince of Abu Dhabi is reportedly lobbying the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to ditch the elected President of Yemen, Abd Rabbuh Hadi, in favour of former president and recent ally of the Houthi rebels, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan reportedly discussed with Mohammed bin Salman the possibility of forming a new Yemeni government to end the ongoing war, Intelligence Online reported.

Mohammed bin Salman’s right hand man, Ahmed al-Assiri, travelled to Abu Dhabi at the end of June to meet and discuss the issue with Ali Abdullah Saleh’s son, Ahmed.

The UAE and Hadi have been at loggerheads in recent months, after Hadi accused Mohammed bin Zayed of acting like an occupier in Yemen in February.

This incident, allegedly ending in an angry argument, saw Hadi distance himself further from the UAE, leading to Dubai’s security chief calling for his replacement earlier this year.

Dhahi Khalfan Tamim tweeted: "The first steps toward a solution in Yemen would be to end Hadi's reign, which has eroded with time."

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are reportedly becoming tired of the ongoing conflict in Yemen – a disaster for the two countries, both financially and reputationally – and diplomats are now looking for preferable outcomes.

Also under consideration is the former Yemeni prime minister, Khaled Bahah, who was dismissed from his role by Hadi in April 2016. Bahah at the time called the decision a ‘coup’.

Hadi is currently living in exile in Riyadh, despite claiming to be the leader of Yemen, but there have been increasing calls for him to step aside to bring about peace.