Saudi Arabia, UAE hold rare talks with the Yemen Islamist party in hopes to boost their war effort against Al Houthis
Al Mukallah: Mohammad Abdul Salam, director of Abbad Centre for Strategic Studies, believes that military operations against Iran-backed Al Houthis will be boosted following an important meeting on Wednesday where the Al Islah party chief met with UAE and Saudi leaders in Riyadh.
“The party’s nationwide grass roots links” could help turn the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen turn the tables once and for all on Al Houthis.
“The meeting has cleared many fears that came up during the war which impacted its course,” he said on his Facebook page, referring to some concerns that the Saudi-led coalition would exclude Yemen Islamists after liberating Yemen from Al Houthis.
After the meeting, Mohammad Al Yadoumi, the head of Islah party said that the discussions were “productive” and showed the Saudi and Emirati willingness to bring peace and security to Yemen.
In a brief statement to Al Sahwa Net, the party’s official news site, Al Yadoumi reiterated his party’s support to the current military operations in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition, adding that they would put an end to Iran’s expansionist ambitions
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Crown Prince, Vice-President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defence, on Wednesday met with Colonel Mohammad Abdullah Al Yidoumi, Al Islah Chairman.
Also accompanying Al Yidoumi was Abdul Wahab Ahmad Al Anisi, the party’s secretary-general
During the meeting, they reviewed the developments in Yemen and the efforts made to achieve security and stability for the Yemeni people, WAM reported.
The meeting was attended by Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, Ali Bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme National Security Council, and Shaikh Shakhbout Bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
From the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by Dr Musa’ed Bin Mohammad Al Aiban, Minister of State, and Khalid Al Humaidan, Chief of General Intelligence.
The presence of many ministers in the meeting shows a seriousness not seen before in reaching an agreement with Al Islah.
Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have had issues with Al Islah in the past but could be willing to overlook those issues if it means they could team up against Al Houthis.
Al Islah was long a major military as well as political force in Yemen but its forces pulled back from the capital and the rest of the north as Al Houthis took control and are now largely confined to Marib province, east of Sana’a.
The movement is nominally part of the alliance supporting the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi but so far it has played only a minor part in the actual fighting against Al Houthi militants.