Saudi-UAE delegation in Aden to discuss separatists' pullout

A joint Saudi-Emirati military delegation arrived in Aden Thursday (August 15th) to discuss the pullout of southern separatists from positions they captured in Yemen's interim capital, government and separatists sources told AFP.

The delegation arrived in the city "to discuss the issue of the withdrawal of southern Security Belt forces from government camps and positions they seized last week", a source in the government of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi told AFP.

A source from the Southern Transitional Council (STC) confirmed their arrival, saying "we will hold talks with them", without providing further details.

Forces loyal to the STC, which seeks an independent South Yemen, seized the presidential palace in Aden on Saturday after clashes with forces loyal to Hadi left 40 people dead.

The Arab coalition condemned the takeover and urged the Security Belt force to pull out from positions it captured, calling for peace talks to resolve the standoff.

The Yemeni embassy in Washington, quoting the foreign ministry, on Wednesday welcomed the Saudi initiative to address the "coup" in Aden.

But, it said in a tweet, separatists "must first commit to total withdrawal from areas forcibly seized by STC in past few days before start of any talks".

The STC has voiced willingness to take part in the talks, but has not given any sign that it is ready to withdraw, say security sources close to the movement.

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