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Arabic press review: Deputy police chief criticises Dubai ruler over Twitter guidance

Meanwhile, there's confusion over Saudi Arabia's bid for dialogue in Yemen as government in Aden denies holding talks with separatists
Sheikh Mohammed has called on Twitter users to stop acts of defamation and insults (AFP)

A large number of pro-UAE activists have suddenly stopped being active on Twitter, following a call from Dubai ruler Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prompting criticism from Dubai's deputy police chief.

Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said on Twitter that the absence of the Emirati Twitter users was sad, as it puts the nation at the bottom of the list of Arab countries in terms of freedom of expression.

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Sheikh Mohammed, who is also vice-president and prime minister of the UAE, had called on Twitter users to stop acts of defamation and insults, saying on Twitter: "The absurdity and chaos on social media devour the achievements that thousands of working teams have worked hard to reach.

"The reputation of the UAE State is not for public use for everyone who wants to increase the number of his followers. 

"We have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs to manage our foreign relations, speak on our behalf and express our positions on the state's foreign policy."

Tamim added that the message of the prime minister "has never been addressed to the thoughtful Twitter user, who defends the reputation of the UAE with his thoughts and his pen... I say it and assume my responsibility... Since we knew Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he has long respected personal opinion".

Confusion over Saudi bid for dialogue in Yemen

Saudi Arabia is continuing its efforts to start a dialogue between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, with the aim of ending the unrest in southern Yemen, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.

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Former allies the STC and the Saudi-backed government in Aden have engaged in bloody clashes in recent weeks, with government officials expelled from the city by STC fighters, backed by the United Arab Emirates. 

The Saudi newspaper said STC spokesperson Nizar Haitham revealed he had held an unofficial meeting on Wednesday with "wise figures" in the Yemeni government, as he described them. 

Haitham added that the STC was waiting to set an official date for a meeting with the government delegation in Jeddah.

In contrast, Rajeh Badi, spokesperson for the Yemeni government, said that the administration had not held any direct or indirect consultations with the STC.

Badi also stressed the importance of the withdrawal of Emirati-backed STC forces to where they were before 7 August, when they took over the headquarters of the government in Aden.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.