ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates withdrew some of its troops from the southern city of Aden on Tuesday, officials and witnesses said, as the Saudi-led military alliance worked to end a power struggle between the Yemeni government and separatists in the city.
Two officials confirmed that a UAE convoy boarded a military ship at the Brega oil port near the Aden refinery, and that the ship left the port.
Four refinery workers said they saw a large convoy of military vehicles and three buses carrying about 200 soldiers heading towards the port.
Earlier, four sources familiar with the negotiations said the Saudi-backed government and the UAE-backed southern secessionist transitional council were close to a deal to end the confrontation in Aden and Saudi forces would take over the city temporarily.
For his part, Yemeni Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdullah al-Hadrami welcomed Saudi efforts to end the rebellion of the Transitional Council in some southern provinces, and called on the Yemeni foreign minister not to escalate in order to make the dialogue a success.
Two officials in the Yemeni government have said that Saudi Arabia has proposed the integration of the Southern Transitional Council in the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the deployment of Saudi forces in Aden to oversee the formation of a neutral security force.
It is unclear how many UAE troops will remain in Aden, and whether today's moves mean a redeployment inside Yemen.
A source familiar with the Saudi-sponsored talks said resolving Aden issues was needed before the coalition responded to a Houthi offer to halt rocket and drone attacks on Saudi cities if the coalition ended air strikes on Yemen.
The UAE had already reduced its presence in Yemen in June from the west coast, mainly as Western pressure mounted to end the war and tensions with Iran heightened security concerns in the Gulf.