US security chief Bolton in UAE for talks on ‘regional issues’
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US security chief Bolton in UAE for talks on ‘regional issues’

American national security adviser’s visit comes amid mounting international pressure to end the war in Yemen

National security advisor John Bolton at a media briefing during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, September 24, 2018. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
National security advisor John Bolton at a media briefing during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, September 24, 2018. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

ABU DHABI — US National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks Monday with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on regional issues and the fight against “terrorism,” state media said.

Bolton’s visit comes as international pressure mounts to end the war in Yemen, where government loyalists backed by a Saudi-led coalition, including Emirati forces, are battling Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.

Medics said Monday that at least 150 people have been killed in 24 hours of clashes in the Yemen port city of Hodeida, the docks of which are a lifeline to 14 million Yemenis at risk of starvation.

Government forces, led on the ground by Emirati-backed troops, have made their way into Hodeida after 11 days of clashes, reaching residential neighborhoods in the east on Sunday and sparking fears of street fighting that would further endanger civilians.

Ahead of the trip to the United Arab Emirates Bolton said in a tweet he was “looking forward to meeting with out friends in the UAE to discuss important regional issues.”

WAM state news agency said the talks focused on “cooperation between the two countries in several fields, as well as issues of concern to both countries.”

Bolton and Sheikh Mohammed, who is also deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, “exchanged views on several regional and international issues” and also discussed “international efforts and cooperation to confront terrorism and terrorist groups,” the agency reported.

The Hodeida offensive has sparked international outcry unprecedented in nearly four years of conflict between the Huthis and the Saudi-backed government.

Britain, the United States and France have all called for a cessation to the hostilities.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a major ally of Washington, to engage in peace talks.

On Saturday, Saudi King Salman held talks in Riyadh with the Abu Dhabi crown prince after the US halted a controversial refueling arrangement for coalition aircraft engaged in Yemen.

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