Reem Ebrahim Al Hashemi and Yousuf Al Otaiba during a meeting with Martin Griffiths (left) in Washington. Image Credit: WAM

Washington: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashemi and UAE ambassador to the US, Yousuf Al Otaiba, briefed US government and UN officials on the Arab Coalition’s humanitarian assistance efforts and push for a political resolution in Yemen.

In a meeting with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, the UAE officials expressed their support for Griffiths’ efforts to facilitate Al Houthis’ peaceful handover of Hodeida port and city to the legitimate government of Yemen.

“We had very productive discussions with the administration and members of Congress to discuss the Arab Coalition’s efforts to restore the legitimate government in Yemen and prevent Iranian interference,” said Al Otaiba.

“We also discussed our combined efforts with the US to ensure regional security.”

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led Arab Coalition that is in Yemen at the invitation of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and in compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions.

In a series of meetings with officials in Washington, including US Agency for International Development Acting Deputy Administrator David Moore, Al Hashemi and Al Otaiba provided updates on the coalition’s efforts to restore the legitimate government of Yemen and address the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people.

“The UAE is working closely with the Special Envoy and UN agency partners. We are committed to ensuring access for humanitarian assistance and achieving a political solution to restore the legitimate government,” she said.

Total UAE assistance to Yemen from April 2015 to June 2018 amounted to $3.78 billion.

The UAE has contributed $465 million toward the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen for 2018.

The meetings signaled the importance of the UAE partnership with the US on shared security priorities.

US general ‘satisfied’ with UAE response to Yemen torture report

A top US general said Thursday he is “satisfied” with the United Arab Emirates’ response following a report alleging human rights violations in a string of Emirati-run prisons in Yemen.

Amnesty International last week published a report calling for investigations into a network of unofficial prisons across southern Yemen where it said “egregious violations” have been committed, including enforced disappearances and torture.

The UAE has dismissed the report as politically motivated and said it does not manage or run any prisons in the war-torn country.

General Joe Votel, who heads the US Central Command that oversees US operations in the Middle East, said he had spoken to Emirati counterparts on the issue.

“I am satisfied that the appropriate investigations are underway to determine the facts associated with this,” Votel told Pentagon reporters.

“We have confidence that (the Emiratis) will continue to operate in a manner that befits their values and ours.”