Yemen has recalled its ambassador to Libya over its suspected support to Shi’ite guerilla followers of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, who have been fighting government forces in the northern province of Saada since the beginning of the year. “The decision to recall the ambassador…came a day after popular demands for cutting Yemeni ties with Libya and to close its embassy in Sanaa over accusations of Libyan involvement in supporting the terrorist elements,” the web site of the ruling People’s Congress Party said, quoting “well-informed” sources. The statement said that residents of Saada had urged the government to sever ties with Tripoli.
The rebels deny receiving any aid from Libya, which they say had only tried to mediate in the conflict. But Yemeni Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi told Reuters that “Houthi’s travels to Libya have also given the impression that Libya is involved.” Libya and Yemen are both dominated by Sunnis. (Reuters, May 10)