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How Qatar is working to boost its influence in Yemen

Doha balances close relations with Houthi and Islah factions in the Yemen war in order to take advantage of political instability in the country and bolster its influence over the country’s internal affairs.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani in Doha is seen during his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Doha, Qatar November 1, 2018.  REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon - RC143AB93710

Qatar on Nov. 1 praised US President Donald Trump’s advocacy for a cease-fire in Yemen and called for new UN peace talks to end the Yemen war. In an official statement, the Qatari Foreign Ministry described US calls for peace in Yemen as “an encouraging step toward a political solution and an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people.”

Although this statement is consistent with Qatar’s official rhetoric on Yemen since Doha was expelled from the Saudi-led military coalition in June 2017, allies of embattled Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi have criticized the Qatari Foreign Ministry’s remarks. Adnan al-Audani, the head of the Information and Culture Department of the Hadi-aligned Islah Party, released a statement that condemned Qatar for its support of Houthi rebels and accused Doha of backing Iran’s expansionist ambitions in the Middle East.

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