Arab coalition in Yemen sets ceasefire in Aden as Saudi Arabia calls for talks

Members of the southern Yemeni separatist forces patrol a road during clashes with government forces in Aden Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 11 August 2019

Arab coalition in Yemen sets ceasefire in Aden as Saudi Arabia calls for talks

  • Saudi foreign ministry calls for an emergency meeting in Jeddah
  • Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman calls for restraint and reason

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition supporting the government in Yemen called Saturday for a ceasefire in Aden where government troops and southern separatists have clashed for days.

The two forces are meant to be working as allies to defeat the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which control the capital Sanaa. 

Shortly after the coalition statement, the Saudi foreign ministry called for an emergency meeting in the Kingdom.

"The Coalition’s Joint Command is requesting an immediate ceasefire in Yemen’s temporary Capital, Aden," the coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said. “The coalition will use military force against anyone who violates the decision.”

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia "will always be the greatest supporter of the brotherly Yemeni people, and will do everything in its power to return peace and stability to Yemen."

 

"We call on all Yemeni parties in Aden to respond to the Kingdom's immediate call for dialogue in Jeddah, put an end to the violence, unite ranks, and avoid dragging Yemen into further chaos," he said on Twitter.

"We reaffirm the Kingdom's support to the legitimate Yemeni government, and the interim capital, against any action that may disrupt the security and stability of Yemen, and create opportunities for terrorists to exploit," he said.

Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi deputy defense minister, urged the feuding pro-government forces to exercise "restraint and the primacy of wisdom and the interests of the Yemeni state." 

 

"We reject any use of weapons in Aden and disturbance of security and stability," he said on Twitter, adding that Saudi Arabia has "called for political dialogue with the legitimate Yemeni government in the city of Jeddah".

He reaffirmed Saudi Arabia's commitment "to support and maintain legitimacy in Yemen and to provide all means of support to the brotherly Yemeni people."

"The unfortunate developments in Aden caused disruption of humanitarian and relief work, which is not acceptable to the Kingdom," he said.

 

The alliance said the ceasefire would come into force at 1am on Monday and urged all sides to "retreat from the locations they have seized during the past few days without damaging public and private properties.”

The coalition, he said, "will not hesitate to face anyone that violates the announcement and continues to fight, undermine security and stability or targets government institutions in Aden.”

Al-Maliki said all parties should put the national interests of Yemen as a priority and make sure the Houthis or terrorist groups operating in the country do not divide them.

The Saudi foreign ministry said it had followed the followed "with great concern" the developments in Aden. 

"As a result, an invitation was sent out to the Yemeni government and the parties to the conflict in Aden to hold an urgent meeting in the Kingdom in order to discuss and resolve differences by resorting to dialogue," the ministry said.

The fighting erupted Wednesday when forces loyal to the Southern Transitional Council attempted to break into the presidential palace in Aden, AFP reported.

Reports Saturday said the STC and its paramilitary force had seized the presidential palace from the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

 


Libya Speaker urges action on Turkish intervention

Updated 5 min 26 sec ago

Libya Speaker urges action on Turkish intervention

CAIRO: Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, held talks on Monday with Egyptian officials and the US envoy on dealing with the Turkish intervention in Libya.


On the second day of his visit to Cairo, Saleh met with US envoy to Libya Richard Norland and agreed to meet with Western delegations in addition to the Egyptian leadership.


Saleh held talks with Norland on maintaining the cease-fire and reopening talks to end the crisis in the country.


He said that the parliament is adhering to the outcomes of the Berlin international conference and the Cairo initiative, and called for the withdrawal of reconciliation government militias from around the Sirte and Jufra oil crescent areas.


The Libyan parliament website said that Saleh and the US ambassador discussed developments in Libya and sought ways to reach a solution in the country according to the Cairo declaration and the outcome of the Berlin summit.


“The meeting discussed the steps taken to move forward with work on the initiative of Aguila Saleh, which culminated in the Cairo declaration according to the outcomes of the Berlin conference,” media adviser to the Speaker, Hamid Al-Safi, said, according to the Libyan News Agency in Benghazi. 


Al-Safi said the meeting reached an agreement to continue the cease-fire. 


The Libyan News Agency said that Norland explained his country’s view on the necessity of stopping the fighting in Libya and that there is no military solution to the crisis. 


Germany, France and Italy intend to push for European sanctions against Turkey, which violated the arms embargo on Libya.


EU sources said that the three countries have prepared a list of companies and individuals who harness ships, aircraft or other logistical services to transport weapons.

The list includes three companies from Turkey and Kazakhstan, as well as two Libyans.


Saleh arrived in Cairo on Sunday to resume a series of international and regional meetings as part of efforts aimed to resolve the Libyan crisis. He will also meet with Egyptian officials as well as the American ambassador in Cairo for talks on restructuring the Presidency Council.


US President Donald Trump’s administration is seeking a demilitarized solution in Sirte and Jufra, and to reopen the country’s oil sector with full transparency between the Libyan parties.


Parliamentary media adviser Fathi Al-Marimi said that Saleh also discussed the removal of armed forces in Sirte and Jufra with the US envoy.


In statements carried by Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath satellite channel, he added that Saleh highlighted the need for a fair distribution of wealth, while the US enjoy stressed the need for a peaceful solution in Libya.


Saleh visited Cairo in the beginning of June, where he met President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Commander-in-Chief of the Libyan Army, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, to announce a political initiative to solve the Libyan crisis, called the Cairo declaration.