Arab Coalition welcomes Yemen gov, STC response to ceasefire, Riyadh agreement talks

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The Arab Coalition supporting the legitimate government in Yemen welcomed on Monday the willingness of the Yemeni government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) to heed the Kingdom’s call for a ceasefire and to hold talks to discuss implementing the “Riyadh Agreement.”

Tensions have escalated between the parties in Yemen in April, after the STC decided it will establish self-rule in southern regions in Yemen under its control.

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Arab Coalition Spokesperson Turki al-Maliki said: “In light of the recent events in Socotra and Abyan governorate, the coalition welcomes the response of the legitimate government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council for its request of a comprehensive ceasefire, de-escalation and a meeting to be convened in the Kingdom to move forward in implementing the Riyadh Agreement, in addition to the return of the political and military committees and teams in order to promptly implement it,” according to a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

The STC said on Saturday that it seized control of Yemen’s island of Socotra, its government facilities and military bases, and deposed its governor.

The internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi condemned the action as a “full-fledged” coup on the island and accused STC forces of attacking government buildings in “gang-style behavior.”

Al-Maliki stressed in his statement the importance of the “Riyadh Agreement,” a deal signed in Riyadh in November aimed to end the power struggle in south Yemen. The agreement stipulated that the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and other regions in the south join a new national cabinet and place all forces under control of the internationally recognized government.

He added: “The Coalition rejects any behaviors that undermine security and stability and contravene the Riyadh Agreement in liberated areas. Reaffirming its longstanding commitment to stand by Yemen and its brotherly people, and continue its efforts to unite Yemeni peoples’ ranks, bridge the gap between their components and support their endeavors to restore their nation, security, stability, state unity and territorial integrity.”

Al-Maliki also mentioned that the coalition will deploy observers in Yemen’s Abyan to observe that the ceasefire and separation of forces are maintained.

- With Reuters

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