SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni security officials say a former governor, recently sacked by the president, has departed the southern city of Aden to Saudi Arabia.
The move comes after Aidarous al-Zubaidi announced the formation of a separatist council that was rejected by Yemen's internationally recognized government.
The officials say the Friday departure of al-Zubaidi and ex-Cabinet Minister Hani Bin Braik, who are both close to the United Arab Emirates, comes upon the invitation of Saudi officials.
It is the latest development in the standoff between President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi and the UAE, a key member of a Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015.
Hadi believes the UAE is offering patronage to southern Yemeni politicians campaigning for secession and sees this as a violation of his country's sovereignty.