Saudi Arabia calls for return to normalcy in Yemen’s Aden, southern provinces

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Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers called for conditions to return to normalcy in Yemen’s Aden and southern provinces after the Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared a state of emergency, adding that such steps violate the Riyadh Agreement.

“The Saudi Council of Ministers calls for the invalidation of any step taken that violates the Riyadh Agreement and stresses the need for conditions to return to normal in Aden and southern governorates,” the Council of Ministers said in a statement on Tuesday after concluding a virtual session chaired by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The council’s statement comes after the separatist STC announced a self-administration rule in the south as of midnight last Saturday and applied emergency rules in the city of Aden and all the southern governorates.

The Arab Coalition urged the STC to rescind their move, describing their actions as “escalatory” during a time when all parties should be focused on confronting the global coronavirus pandemic instead.

The Riyadh Agreement signed this past November was aimed at ending a power struggle in southern Yemen and stipulated several power-sharing deals between the STC and internationally-recognized government of Yemen based in Aden.

The agreement at the time between the two sides, which are united against the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, initiates a new stage of cooperation in the Yemeni governorates under their control.

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