Yemen's Hadi reiterates support for Riyadh Agreement

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


In this file photo from September 26th, 2018, Yemen's President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi addresses the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly at the UN in New York. [Timothy A. Clary/AFP]

Yemen's president has reiterated the importance of Saudi support in implementing the Riyadh Agreement, saying unified efforts are the key to restoring the state following the 2014 coup staged by the Houthis (Ansarallah).

During a Sunday (November 1st) meeting with his advisors, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi urged Saudi Arabia to support his government's efforts.

"We have confidence in your efforts to make that agreement a success and support it with an economic package to help stabilise the currency and support the government in its new missions and in its endeavours to meet the needs of the Yemeni people," Hadi said.

"We were, and still are, looking at it as a basis for fixing our conditions, restoring the state, unifying efforts and ending the Houthi coup," he added, speaking ahead of the first anniversary of the signing of the agreement.

Hadi said the government has made, and is continuing to make, a strong effort to implement the agreement as it is written.

He stressed the need for unity in light of the ongoing danger posed by the Houthis and their backer, Iran, saying Yemen "must consolidate the cohesion of the political forces that are opposed to the Houthi project".

The Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) signed the Riyadh Agreement on November 5th, 2019, following fighting between the two sides in Aden and Abyan.

The agreement called for the formation of a 24-member government of technocrats with equal representation from the north and south and the integration of the STC forces into the national security and army forces.

In late July, the two sides accepted a Saudi-proposed mechanism to accelerate the implementation of the agreement, under which the STC agreed to renounce its April declaration of self-administration in the southern provinces.

After that, per the agreement, Hadi was to appoint a prime minister and a governor and security chief for Aden.

The mechanism also called for a ceasefire between the two sides, and for the re-deployment of forces to their previous positions.

Call for Saudi support

Yemeni parliament speaker Soltan al-Borkani said Hadi is determined to form the new government as soon as possible and to implement the military aspect of the agreement.

"State institutions will return to Aden to attend to their mission in salvaging the economic, military and humanitarian conditions," he said. "This is the guarantee for ending the Houthi coup [and] restoring the Yemeni state."

Political analyst Adel al-Shujaa told Al-Mashareq Hadi has called on Saudi Arabia to support the implementation of the agreement and his government, in its capacity as the mediator, sponsor and guarantor of that agreement.

"Certain entities are trying to undermine the government by delaying the implementation of the military and security aspects of the agreement and jumping to the political aspect, which is the formation of government," he said.

"If this happens, however, it will make the government hostage to those who have power and weapons," he said.

Political analyst Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement is the first step towards challenging the Iranian project, which he said is threatening Yemen and regional countries, including Saudi Arabia.

"Failure to implement the agreement as soon as possible will prolong the Houthi-Iranian coup, and this will mean more instability in Yemen and the region," he said.

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