In snub to rebels, UAE embassy opts to stick close to Yemen president (dpa German Press Agency)

Cairo (dpa) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy in Yemen will move to the southern city of Aden, an official news agency reported, a show of support for the country’s president, who fled the capital, Sana’a, recently after a month of house arrest at the hands of Houthi rebels.
The move is yet another snub by the Gulf state to the rebels, who took control in Sana’a in January and attempted to sideline President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi.
“This decision comes to consolidate the constitutional legitimacy in the sisterly state of Yemen represented in President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi [and] his government,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, said, according to the UAE official news agency WAM.
The Saudi ambassador to Yemen is also expected to do his job from Aden, according to Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya.
Earlier this month, the UAE and Saudi Arabia were among countries that closed their embassies in Sana’a after the Houthis dissolved parliament and took over the government.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have condemned the Houthis’ takeover as a “coup against legitimacy.”
The Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchies are suspicious of the Shiite Houthis, who are believed to be backed by Iran, the region’s leading Shiite power.
In a gesture of backing, the GCC secretary general this week met with Hadi in Aden, the capital of formerly independent southern Yemen. Hadi, a native of southern Yemen, is seeking to establish a power base in Aden.
Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been in turmoil since the Houthis seized Sana’a in September.
The Houthis now control large parts of Yemen, home to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded as one of the terrorist network’s most dangerous branches.
Yemeni media Friday reported that at least four Yemeni soldiers were killed in an attack claimed by al-Qaeda.
AQAP said in a tweet that its operatives had ambushed overnight an army patrol in the southern town of Houta and killed the four soldiers, the independent news website Almasadr Online said.
The attackers also set the patrol vehicle on fire and seized light weapons, according to the report.
AQAP has stepped up attacks on security forces and the Houthis in recent months.