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

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

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.

 


Lebanon patriarch tells feuding president and PM-designate to reconcile

Lebanon patriarch tells feuding president and PM-designate to reconcile
Updated 17 January 2021

Lebanon patriarch tells feuding president and PM-designate to reconcile

Lebanon patriarch tells feuding president and PM-designate to reconcile
  • The country’s fractious politicians have been unable to agree on a new administration since the last one quit
  • Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said at his Sunday sermon that the situation in Lebanon was now “tragic”

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s top Christian cleric has urged President Michel Aoun to set up a reconciliation meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri to form a cabinet and end the country’s political deadlock.
The country’s fractious politicians have been unable to agree on a new administration since the last one quit in the aftermath of the Aug. 4 Beirut port explosion, leaving Lebanon rudderless as it sinks deeper into economic crisis.
Tensions between Aoun and Hariri, who publicly traded blame in December after failing to agree a cabinet, came to a head last week when a leaked video showed Aoun apparently calling Hariri a liar.
Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said at his Sunday sermon that the situation in Lebanon was now “tragic” and there was no excuse to further delay forming a government.
“We wish that his excellency the president take the initiative and invite the prime minister-designate to a meeting.”
Veteran Sunni politician Hariri was named premier for a fourth time in October, promising to form a cabinet of specialists to enact reforms necessary to unlock foreign aid, but political wrangling has delayed the process since.
The leaked video that circulated on social media last week showed Aoun talking to caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab about Hariri.
“There is no government formation, he (Hariri) is saying he gave me a paper, he is lying,” Aoun is heard saying.
Sources in the president’s office said the dialogue had been taken out of context and was not complete.
After the video circulated, Hariri tweeted biblical verses referring to wisdom not residing in bodies that were amenable to sin.
The souring of the relationship between Aoun and Hariri comes as the country continues to struggle with an acute financial crisis that has seen the currency sink by about 80%.
Lebanon’s health care system is also buckling under the pressure of a severe spike in COVID-19 infections. Medical supplies have dwindled as dollars have grown scarce.