Saudi Arabia yesterday urged the Riyadh-based, internationally-recognised Yemeni government to return to its interim capital, in the southern port city of Aden.
According to a statement on Twitter posted by Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, the Yemeni government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi should return to Aden in accordance with the power-sharing agreement signed two years ago, known as the Riyadh Agreement.
His comments come amid ongoing talks, facilitated by the kingdom between Hadi’s administration and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) who remain a potent force in several southern cities including Aden, which has been under their control since 2019.
“Saudi Arabia is working with the parties to the Riyadh Agreement to finalise its implementation,” he said. “We hope that all put the interest of the Yemeni people above anything else and accelerate the return of the government,” he added.
In an opinion piece on Arab News yesterday, Dr Hamdan Al-Shehri stated: “While it is evident that the Kingdom is keen on stabilizing Yemen and alleviating the suffering of its people, the determination of certain Yemeni parties to further complicate the country’s politics and security, as well as aggravate living conditions, is equally evident.”
In April, Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed paid a visit to the country after having fled Aden back to Saudi Arabia the month before, after a STC-affiliated militia stormed the Presidential Palace, reportedly over unpaid wages and deteriorating living conditions.
Earlier this month, STC-backed gunmen also seized the headquarters of the official Yemen news agency ( SABA).