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Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomes Saudi-Yemen agreement to end tension

Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomes Saudi-Yemen agreement to end tension
November 7, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed the agreement to end tension between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In a tweet on Wednesday, he said: “Pakistan welcomes the conclusion of the landmark Riyadh agreement. As a result of the initiative taken by the Saudi leadership and support by UAE government, we believe it is a crucial and important step forward towards a political solution and durable peace and security in Yemen.” On Tuesday, Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and southern separatists signed an agreement to end a power struggle in the south of Yemen that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince hailed as a step toward a wider political solution to end the multifaceted conflict. The stand-off had opened a new front in the more than four-year-old war and fractured a Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthi movement that ousted the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from the capital, Sanaa, in the north in late 2014. Saudi Arabia’s envoy to Yemen told reporters that the pact, reached after more than a month of indirect talks in the kingdom, would see the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) join a new cabinet along with other southerners and all armed forces would be placed under government control. “This agreement will open, God willing, broader talks between Yemeni parties to reach a political solution and end the war,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a televised signing ceremony in Riyadh. US President Donald Trump praised the agreement on Twitter: “A very good start! Please all work hard to get a final deal.” Riyadh has been trying to resolve the stand-off to refocus the coalition on fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement on its southern border. Separatist forces, supported by Riyadh’s main coalition partner the United Arab Emirates, are part of the Sunni Muslim alliance that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthis who hold Sanaa and most big urban centers. But the STC, which seeks self-rule in the south and a say in Yemen’s future, turned on Hadi’s government in August, seizing its interim seat in the southern port of Aden and trying to extend its reach in the south. The deal calls for the formation of a new cabinet of no more than 24 ministers within 30 days that would have equal representation for northerners and southerners. STC would join any political talks to end the war. Military and security forces from both sides, including tens of thousands of UAE-backed STC forces, would be placed under the defense and interior ministries. To pave the way for the deal, Emirati forces last month left Aden for home, handing control of the port city and other southern areas to Saudi Arabia.