Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists

Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists
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Yemen's Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed arrives in Aden Monday. (AFP)
Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists
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Saudi forces stand guard during the arrival of Yemen's Prime Minister in Aden Monday. (AFP)
Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists
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Yemen's Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed arrives in Aden Monday. (AFP)
Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists
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Saudi forces stand guard during the arrival of Yemen's Prime Minister in Aden Monday. (AFP)
Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists
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Saudi forces stand guard during the arrival of Yemen's Prime Minister in Aden Monday. (AFP)
Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists
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Yemen's Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed arrives in Aden Monday. (AFP)
Updated 18 November 2019

Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists

Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists
  • Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed landed in Aden, fulfilling a key point in the power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia
  • Saeed was accompanied by five key ministers from President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government

ADEN: Yemen’s internationally recognized government returned to the war-torn country on Monday for the first time since it was forced out by southern separatists during clashes last summer.
Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed landed in Aden, fulfilling a key point in the power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia that ended months of infighting with separatists in Yemen’s south.
“The government’s priorities in the next stage are to normalize the situation in Aden first and then consolidate state institutions on the ground ... as a guarantor of stability,” Saeed told The Associated Press when he disembarked onto the tarmac.
He described the government’s return as “foundational for the improvement of civic services,” but added that “security challenges cannot be overlooked, especially at this stage.”
Saeed, accompanied by five key ministers from President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government, was received by local officials and Saudi forces at the air base.
“Today we are uniting our efforts to defeat the Iranian project in Yemen and restore the state,” the government said in a statement.
In August, the separatists, overran Aden and drove out forces loyal to President Hadi, who has been based in Saudi Arabia since 2015.
The outbreak of violence between nominal partners in the coalition fighting against Iran-allied Houthi rebels added a new twist to the country’s complex civil war.
The power-sharing deal, signed earlier this month in Riyadh, calls for both sides to pull their forces out of Aden. That leaves the city under the coalition’s control, with only a presidential guard for Hadi’s protection if the exiled president were to return.
The agreement also asks that the separatists break up their militias and integrate them into Hadi’s forces.
“The plan for incorporating the security services needs to be clear and transparent,” Saeed told The Associated Press. “We have the support of the Saudis and the coalition leaders, factors that will help to implement the agreement through promising steps on the ground.”
The conflict in the Arab’s world’s poorest country started in 2014, when the Houthi rebels captured the capital, Sanaa, along with much of the country’s north. The Saudi-led alliance intervened in 2015 to drive out the Houthis and restore Hadi’s government.