Saudi Arabia, UAE urge new talks between Yemen’s government and southern separatists

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Supporters of Yemen's UAE-backed southern separatists march during a rally in the port city in Aden, Yemen, on August 15, 2019. (REUTERS/Fawaz Salman/File Photo)
Updated 27 August 2019

Saudi Arabia, UAE urge new talks between Yemen’s government and southern separatists

  • Dialogue is the only way to resolve internal Yemeni differences, says Saudi deputy defense minister

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE called on Monday for a cease-fire and peace talks between Yemen’s government and southern separatists.

Security Belt forces loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) took control of the southern city of Aden on Aug. 10 following deadly clashes with government troops that killed at least 40 people.

In a joint statement on Monday, the Saudi and Emirati foreign ministries called on both sides to cooperate with a coalition committee and to attend talks in Jeddah. 

They urged “speedy engagement in the Jeddah dialogue called by Saudi Arabia to address the causes and consequences of developments in some southern provinces.” 

Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi deputy defense minister, said dialogue, not fighting, was the only way to resolve internal Yemeni differences. 

“We are working with the UAE for security and stability in Aden, Shabwa and Abyan and ... to unify ranks and voices to combat terrorist threats, whether from the Iran-backed Houthis or from Al-Qaeda and Daesh,” he said.

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir also called for talks. “The only way open to our brethren in Yemen is to overcome internal differences through the dialogue called for by the Kingdom,” he said, and that Saudi Arabia and the UAE would spare no effort to achieve security and stability in southern Yemen.

 


Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

Updated 13 November 2019

Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

  • Altan and the others deny the charges against them
  • On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing

ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained prominent journalist and author Ahmet Altan late on Tuesday, a week after he was released from prison in his retrial on coup-related charges, Istanbul police said.

Before his release last Monday, the 69-year-old had been in jail since his arrest in 2016, two months after an attempted coup which Ankara says was orchestrated by the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The journalist’s case has drawn criticism from human rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies. They are concerned by the scale of a post-coup crackdown against suspected Gulen supporters under President Tayyip Erdogan.

Altan smiled and waved as he was driven away by counter-terror squad police officers after being taken from his home in Istanbul, video and photos published by Turkish media showed.

He was taken to Istanbul police headquarters after a hospital check-up, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Altan, his brother and other journalists were previously sentenced to life in jail for aiding Gulen’s network. Last week he was convicted again in a retrial, but released from jail given the time served.

Altan and the others deny the charges against them.

On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing, Anadolu reported.

Under last week’s verdict, Altan was sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail. Turkey’s high court had overruled the previous life sentences against him in July, sending the file back for re-trial.

Erdogan’s government has jailed more than 77,000 people pending trial since the failed putsch. Widespread arrests are still routine in a crackdown critics say demonstrates growing autocracy in Turkey.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers deny any involvement in the coup. Turkey has repeatedly called on the United States to extradite the cleric.