Saudi Arabia: Yemen separatists should hand over military bases to government in Aden

Saudi Arabia is following the latest developments in Aden and regrets the outbreak of violence in the city - an example of which can be seen here - according to a Saudi Press Agency report. (Reuters)
Updated 06 September 2019

Saudi Arabia: Yemen separatists should hand over military bases to government in Aden

  • Kingdom expressed its complete rejection of the recent escalation of violence in Aden
  • The Kingdom backed the need to restore the legitimate government

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that Yemen’s southern separatists should hand over military bases and government buildings in Aden, and it reiterated its support for Yemen’s government, the Saudi Press Agency said.

“Any attempt to destabilize Yemen’s security is a threat to the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) and the region and will be dealt with decisively,” the SPA said.

Separately, Washington is in talks with Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militias in a bid to end the country’s war, a top US official said on Thursday, the first such contact in more than four years. The negotiations open a direct channel between President Donald Trump’s administration and the Houthis amid the threat of a broader regional conflict with Iran.

It also comes after the rebels stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.

“We are narrowly focused on trying to end the war in Yemen,” Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker told reporters during a visit to Al-Kharj air base near Riyadh.

“We are also having talks to the extent possible with the Houthis to try and find a mutually accepted negotiated solution to the conflict.”

At the Al-Kharj air base, Schenker was shown a display of fragments of Iran-supplied missiles and unmanned drones intercepted in recent months.

“The United States is working to try and prevent the smuggling of weapons to the Houthis,” Schenker said while condemning the attacks on Saudi Arabia.

“That’s a priority for us.”

Meanwhile, UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has expressed support for negotiations between the Yemeni government and southern separatists that started in Jeddah on Wednesday. 

Yemen’s government officials started talks with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in a bid to end fighting in Aden and other southern provinces, a Yemeni official said. 

The delegation, which landed in the Kingdom on Tuesday, is headed by Aidroos Al-Zubaidi, the council’s leader.

Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state of foreign affairs, said on Wednesday that he was confident that the Jeddah meeting would succeed in uniting the two sides against what he called the “Houthi coup.”

He also thanked Saudi Arabia for “leading the coalition politically and militarily with care and skill.”


Quality of Life program plans annual conference to develop strategic index

Updated 22 January 2020

Quality of Life program plans annual conference to develop strategic index

  • There are 13 programs aiming to change and develop the lifestyles of citizens and residents

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabian Quality of Life Program will organize an annual conference to develop a strategic index accredited by the UN, according to its spokesman Mazrou Al-Mazrou.

This news came in a meeting held at the King Abdul Aziz Public Library in Riyadh on Monday, during which Al-Mazrou presented insights about the program, and how it related to the National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP) and Saudi Vision 2030.

The program supervises 119 initiatives in the entertainment and recreational sectors, including in culture, sport, recreation and touristism, he added.

“There are 13 programs aiming to change and develop the lifestyles of citizens and residents,” Al-Mazrou said.

“The programs rely on the financing method and intersect with other authorities. A range of events and programs have been achieved, such as diversifying entertainment activities with more than 377 events so far, as well as increasing the index of families’ expenditure rate on entertainment activities."

He said the program had several other objectives, including enriching the local entertainment scene in the Kingdom, contributing to the construction media cities, and supporting the development of the Saudi film industry.