More than 30,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the tiny Gulf country — 1.1 percent of the 2.75 million population — although just 15 people have died.
Instead of taking the fight to the Houthi rebels in the north, the two regional allies are undermining each other in the south.
With a dramatic fall in the price of oil and the global economy slowing down, Gulf countries find themselves in a crunch.
Foreign Minister Mohammed al Hadhrami said the Southern Transitional Council had refused calls from the government and the international community to reverse its declaration of self-rule.
A five-year war has shattered Yemen's health system, pushed millions to the brink of famine and divided the country between the internationally recognised government and the Houthi rebels, who overran the capital Sanaa in late 2014.
Using doctored and misleading videos, Saudi propagandists on Twitters have been creating a narrative of instability in the Gulf emirate, and Saudi media outlets are parroting the reports.
The two allies have recently been at odds on oil prices, which has inflicted heavy damage on the American oil industry.
With oil prices at new lows and pilgrimages cancelled, Riyadh is having to tighten its belt through wage and spending cuts.
The decision scales back the American presence in Saudi Arabia just months after the Pentagon began a military buildup there to counter threats from Iran.
The UAE's ambitious foreign policy goals has slowly overshadowed Saudi Arabia's standing in the Middle East, according to regional experts.
Two Washington-based think tanks have suggested that the US should no longer turn a blind eye to rights abuses in Egypt.
No one is looking to the US for leadership during the coronavirus crisis. Is this the new normal?
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