Riyadh Agreement aims to unify Yemen’s structure: prime minister

Yemen’s Prime Minister, Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, said the goals of the Riyadh Agreement are aimed at uniting all forces and defeating the Houthi militia. (File/AFP)
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Updated 01 July 2020

Riyadh Agreement aims to unify Yemen’s structure: prime minister

  • The Riyadh Agreement was signed last year

RIYADH: Yemen’s prime minister called on Sunday for a return to implementing the Riyadh Agreement as it is a “win-win for all.”
Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said the goals of the deal reached last year between the government and southern separatists are aimed at “uniting all forces and efforts within the state structure” and defeating the Houthi militia, Yemen’s state news agency reported.
The agreement was signed last year after government forces and troops loyal to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) clashed last summer. While the agreement was widely hailed at the time, tensions have flared in recent months between the two forces, which are meant to be allies in the war against the Iran-backed Houthis.
Last week, the Arab Coalition said the STC and government had agreed a cease-fire and talks would take place again in Riyadh to make sure the Riyadh was fully adopted.
Speaking at a meeting of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s advisory body and the presidency of the House of Representatives, Saeed said he valued the role of Saudi Arabia its support for the Yemeni state and its people.
“The government worked ... to implement its obligations regarding the Riyadh Agreement and took serious action to ensure that the main and crucial battle compass against the Houthi coup was not diverted,” he said.
Sultan Al-Barakani, speaker of the Yemeni House of Representatives highlighted the importance of implementing the Riyadh Agreement and the consultations being held “at a high level to accomplish this under the auspices and supervision of Saudi Arabia.”


Jets hit Libya’s Al-Watiya Air Base where Turkey may build base

An image grab taken from a video released on July 3, 2020, by the Turkish Defence Ministry shows Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar (C) greeting Libyan officials upon his arrival in Tripoli. (AFP)
Updated 06 July 2020

Jets hit Libya’s Al-Watiya Air Base where Turkey may build base

  • Turkish support was vital to the GNA in turning back the LNA offensive with advanced air defenses and drone strikes that targeted Khalifa’s supply lines and troop buildups

BENGHAZI: Warplanes struck overnight at an air base that was recently recaptured by Libya’s internationally recognized government from eastern forces with help from Turkey, a military source with the eastern forces and a resident nearby said.
The strikes were carried out by “unknown aircraft,” the military source with the Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said.
A resident at the nearby town of Zintan said explosions were heard from the direction of the base.
Al-Watiya’s recapture in May by the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli marked the start of a sudden collapse of the LNA’s 14-month assault to seize the capital and its retreat along the coast to the new frontlines.
Turkish support was vital to the GNA in turning back the LNA offensive with advanced air defenses and drone strikes that targeted Khalifa’s supply lines and troop buildups.
A Turkish source said last month that Turkey was in talks with the GNA to establish two bases in Libya, one of them at Watiya, the most important air base in western Libya.
Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar was in Tripoli for meetings with the GNA on Friday and Saturday and Akar swore to do all that was necessary to help it, a Turkish Defense Ministry statement said.
Last month, the US said Russia had sent at least 14 MiG29 and Su-24 warplanes to an LNA base via Syria, where their Russian airforce markings were removed.
Turkish involvement in Libya has also angered France and Greece and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has warned of new sanctions on Ankara.
The GNA and LNA are now mobilizing forces at the new frontlines between the cities of Misrata and Sirte.