Yemen, STC resume talks on new government

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

Ahmed Lamlas, the new governor of Aden, embraces a man at Aden International Airport on August 27th. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Ahmed Lamlas, the new governor of Aden, embraces a man at Aden International Airport on August 27th. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

After a brief suspension, Yemen's government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) resumed talks on the formation of a government and the implementation of the power-sharing agreement they signed in Riyadh.

The STC had announced last week that it was suspending its participation in the talks, in light of the military escalation in Abyan and rupture of an agreed ceasefire, among other grievances.

Meanwhile, new Aden governor Ahmed Lamlas arrived in the city on Thursday (August 27th) to assume office under the terms of the Riyadh Agreement.

Prime Minister-designate Moeen Abdulmalik met this Monday with the STC delegation as part of ongoing efforts to implement a Saudi-proposed mechanism for the acceleration of the Riyadh Agreement.

Saudi ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al Jaber also attended the meeting.

The two sides agreed to proceed with consultations on the formation of a new government, the pullout of military forces from Aden and the separation and redeployment of forces.

The goal is to restore services and resolve economic and security challenges, Abdulmalik stressed, as he chaired a Tuesday meeting of the caretaker government.

The positive and unified stance of political components and military forces underscores the priorities of the new government, he said.

Restoring stability

Deputy Minister of Human Rights Nabil Abdul Hafeez told Al-Mashareq the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement is the key to stopping the war and violence in Aden and other southern provinces.

"The government is keen on implementing the agreement... in order to unify efforts and focus on the restoration of state institutions from the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah)," he said.

"The Houthis, Iran and terrorist groups are the entities that are benefiting from any failure in implementing the Riyadh Agreement," he added.

Journalist Radhwan Farie told Al-Mashareq that a crisis of confidence between the two sides was behind their recent exchange of fire in Abyan province.

He urged Saudi Arabia and the UAE to "pressure the government and STC to move ahead with the implementation of the agreement, both militarily and politically, so stability can be restored to Aden and other southern provinces".

"The aim is to defuse the situation and create a suitable and safe atmosphere for the new government to work," political analyst Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq.

This will enable it to "confront the economic challenges, stop the deterioration of the currency and liberate the provinces from the Houthis," he said.

"The implementation of the Riyadh Agreement has become the only way out of the current situation in the southern provinces, as a first phase for establishing peace in Yemen and stopping the war," Ahmed added.

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