Conflict of interest in Yemen might evolve into a UAE-Saudi conflict
Farea Al-Muslimi, a researcher for Chatham House MENA, says contradictory policies of the UAE and Saudi Arabia will turn into conflict in Yemen if issues are not resolved.
The chasm between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has widened after the former intensified its talks with the Yemeni Ansar Allah Movement in an attempt to bring an end to its 8-year war on Yemen, a researcher of the Chatham House MENA, a UK-based center for research said via Twitter.
"Attention is currently focused on de-escalation between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis, but this positive development may be overshadowed by heightening tensions between KSA and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen," Farea Al-Muslimi highlighted in a Twitter thread posted on the Chatham House MENA Twitter account.
🇾🇪🧵on latest developments in Yemen's conflict by @almuslimi:— Chatham House MENA (@CH_MENAP) May 26, 2023
Attention is currently focused on de-escalation between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis, but this positive development may be overshadowed by heightening tensions between KSA and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen.
Al-Muslimi identified the UAE's "decision to sign a security agreement" in December 2022 with the head of Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council without prior consultation with Saudi Arabia as the breaking point in the Gulf states' relationship.
The researcher also pointed to the increased negotiations between Riyadh and the Ansar Allah Movement, in which the UAE had no role to play, as another catalyst for deteriorating relations between the two countries.
He further highlighted the state of the two countries' policy in Yemen which he viewed as being publicly cohesive previously, saying that "This narrative is now being challenged, especially in Hadhramout, where both sides are now preparing for a confrontation."
Al-Muslimi said that Yemen is just one of many frontlines in which the "Gulf monarchies" will face off as they are "behaving more aggressively toward each other."
Furthermore, according to the expert the UAE is increasingly expressing its frustrations regarding Saudi Arabia's diplomatic mobilization with Sanaa. He also examined a meeting held last week by the Presidential Leadership Council, which Riyadh appointed, to Abu Dhabi as "Riyadh's last attempt to de-escalate tensions with the UAE."
"Behind closed doors, UAE officials have recently become more vocal about their frustrations with Saudi Arabia's actions in Yemen. Their usually reserved diplomats are much more expressive now," said Al-Muslimi.
He also warned against future escalations if the tensions between the two remain unresolved, as "Saudi Arabia and the UAE were previously in harmony in Yemen, despite multiple rounds of battles between their respective allies over the years, one can only imagine how a confrontational relationship will play out."