RIYADH: An official source on Tuesday night said that the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) have accepted a proposal by Saudi Arabia designed to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
The proposal includes the continuation of the ceasefire that came into effect on June 22, and an announcement by the STC that it is abandoning self-rule in favor of the power-sharing Riyadh Agreement, and will appoint a governor and security director for Aden governorate. The Yemeni prime minister will form a government that includes representatives of both northern and southern Yemen within 30 days. In addition, opposing military forces will leave Aden governorate and retreat from Abyan.
The STC spokesperson Nizar Haitham confirmed the announcement “that it (the STC) is abandoning its self-rule declaration” to allow the implementation of the deal, in a statement on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman thanked Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the STC for their support of the Saudi effort to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
“I am optimistic and confident about its implementation and the parties coming together to put the interests of the Yemeni people first,” he said.
The Kingdom’s efforts in encouraging political leaders to talk to each other, resolve their differences and reach a consensus on the implementation of the agreement shows the potential for resolving the disagreements in Yemen peacefully through dialogue, he added.
“A major goal of the coalition to support the legitimate Yemeni government is the security, stability and return of Yemen as an active member of the Gulf and the Arab world. The Riyadh Agreement is a key factor in reaching this, in addition to supporting the efforts of the UN envoy to Yemen,” said Prince Khalid.
“The consent of the Yemeni parties to accelerate the implementation of the agreement reflects a serious desire for dialogue, the resolution of disputes, acceptance of each other, the pursuit of political partnership, and support for a comprehensive political solution to end the crisis.”
Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir Tweeted: “The mechanism to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh agreement represents an important step towards activating state institutions to serve all Yemeni citizens, in addition to supporting UN efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Yemen.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan said the agreement would strengthen “trust between parties” and allow the Yemeni government to work from Aden.
“The agreement by the Legitimate Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement is a positive step towards reaching a wholistic and sustainable political solution in Yemen under the auspices of the UN,” Farhan tweeted.
The agreement by the Legitimate Yemeni Government and the Southern Transitional Council to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement is a positive step towards reaching a wholistic and sustainable political solution in Yemen under the auspices of the UN.
— فيصل بن فرحان (@FaisalbinFarhan) July 29, 2020
The source said that with the assistance of the UAE, representatives from the two Yemini sides met in Riyadh and agreed to the proposal as an acceptable solution to the obstacles that have prevented the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, which was signed on Nov. 5, 2019.
They also agreed to prioritize the interests of the Yemeni people, make preparations for the government to operate from Aden, launch development projects in liberated areas, and work to end the crisis in Yemen in cooperation with the UN and its envoy.
The source added that the Saudi authorities welcomed the positive responses from the Yemeni president and the delegations of the government and the STC, while stressing the importance of both sides adhering to the agreement.
He also reaffirmed the continued support of the Saudi-led Arab coalition for the legitimate Yemeni government and the continuation of UN efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to the crisis, in accordance with the wishes of the Yemeni people.
The United Nations Security Council welcomed Saudi Arabia’s efforts to implement the Riyadh Agreement and affirmed its support for the political process in Yemen.
Council members expressed their support for the United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, calling on the parties to agree to mediation proposals, and expressing support for the United Nations Secretary-General's call to end hostilities.
Members called on all donors to speed up donations, spend their pledges and save lives, expressing deep concern about the lack of funding that exacerbates the risk of acute malnutrition in the war-torn country.
The council also addressed the Safer tanker crisis, expressing deep concern at the increased danger that might lead to the cracking or explosion of the tanker in the Red Sea.
The security council called on the Houthis to approve entry permits for UN technical experts to assess the tanker as soon as possible. The role of the experts would be to make suggestions on any possible urgent repairs need and make recommendations for safe oil extraction.