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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

US security chief Bolton in UAE for 'regional' talks: State media

AFP , Monday 12 Nov 2018
John Bolton
United States National Security Adviser John Bolton (Photo: AP)
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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 Houthi 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 neighbourhoods 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 Houthis 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 refuelling arrangement for coalition aircraft engaged in Yemen.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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