UAE rejects support claims for separatist seizure of Yemen's Aden

The UAE on Wednesday (August 21st) rejected accusations it supported Yemeni separatists in their seizure of Yemen’s Aden, as the Yemeni government refused talks with secessionists until they fully withdraw, AFP reported.

"We regret hearing today allegations directed against the UAE regarding developments in Aden, which we categorically reject," the UAE’s deputy permanent representative to the UN Saud al-Shamsi said in a social media post.

The UAE, a key partner in the Arab coalition backing the Yemeni government against the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) "is exerting all efforts to de-escalate the situation in Yemen", he added.

The UAE-trained Security Belt Forces, dominated by pro-independence Southern Transitional Council (STC) fighters, ousted government loyalists from the port city earlier this month.

Separatist forces withdrew from a number of state institutions under pressure from the Arab coalition, but kept key military positions.

Tensions escalated on Tuesday as STC fighters drove government troops out of two military camps along the coast from Aden.

STC head Aidarus al-Zubaidi arrived in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Tuesday night at the invitation of the Saudi foreign ministry, for talks to resolve the standoff.

But Yemen's Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad al-Hadhrami on Wednesday said the government "will not take part in discussions with the (STC)... unless it withdraws from positions it has seized" and hands over all the weapons it captured from government troops.

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