Yemeni delegation arrives in Saudi Arabia to discuss implementation of Riyadh Agreement

Yemeni Southern Transitional Council member and former Aden Governor Nasser Al-Khabji, left, and Yemen’s deputy Prime Minister Salem Al-Khanbashi sign a power-sharing deal in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (FILE/AP)
Short Url
Updated 25 June 2020

Yemeni delegation arrives in Saudi Arabia to discuss implementation of Riyadh Agreement

  • Earlier this week the UN envoy to Yemen called on the Yemeni government and the STC to implement the Riyadh agreement urgently
  • Last year, Saudi Arabia brokered a deal between the two sides after government forces clashed with those allied to the STC

A Yemeni delegation including members of parliament and advisors to President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi’s arrived in Riyadh from Cairo, Al Arabiya TV reported on Thursday.

The delegation will hold meetings to discuss the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement in accordance with the recent Saudi proposal, according to Yemen’s Minister of Information, Muammar Al-Iryani.

The Saudi proposal for a ceasefire was approved by both the government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the coastal province of Abyan earlier this week.  The proposal called for a de-escalation of tensions between the two parties in preparation to implementing the provisions of the Riyadh Agreement.

Earlier this week the United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, condemned the ongoing Houthi military escalation throughout Yemen, especially the recent increase in hostilities, and called on the Yemeni government and the STC to implement the Riyadh agreement urgently.

His office said in a statement on Twitter that the escalation ran counter to the spirit of the ongoing negotiations being facilitated by the United Nations with the aim of reaching an agreement between the parties on a comprehensive ceasefire.

“I urge the parties again to seriously reduce the escalation and give peace a chance.,” Griffiths said. “There is no justification for the military escalation, and it conflicts with the hopes of Yemeni men and women for peace and makes the daily struggle for survival in Yemen more difficult.”


First direct commercial flight from Israel lands in Bahrain

Updated 4 min 35 sec ago

First direct commercial flight from Israel lands in Bahrain

  • Flight data showed an Israir Airlines Airbus A320 landed at Bahrain International Airport after a nearly three-hour flight from Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion
  • The flight was made without ceremony, in sharp contrast to the first El Al flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates at the end of August

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The first known direct commercial flight between Israel and Bahrain landed Wednesday in the island kingdom, just a week after it signed a deal alongside the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations.
Flight data showed an Israir Airlines Airbus A320 landed at Bahrain International Airport after a nearly three-hour flight from Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport.
There was no immediate acknowledgement of the flight from the Israeli government, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday spoke by telephone to Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment.
Bahrain’s state-run media did not immediately acknowledge the flight. Officials on the island off the coast of Saudi Arabia did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The US Embassy in Manama similarly did not respond to a request for comment.
The flight was made without ceremony, in sharp contrast to the first El Al flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates at the end of August. That plane carried US and Israeli officials, including President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as media.
The flight Wednesday comes as Israel has gone back into a lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic. In Bahrain, civil society groups have criticized the move to normalize relations with Israel, saying that recognition should come only after Palestinians obtain their own independent state.
Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and a British naval base.
Bahrain and the UAE signed normalization agreements Sept. 15 with Israel at the White House, part of a US diplomatic push as Trump seeks re-election.
The UAE and Israel have moved quickly to explore commercial ties after their normalization deal, bringing to light a relationship previously kept quiet.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa previously had been quoted as saying he believed Arab countries should drop their boycott of Israel.