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Top US diplomat congratulates Yemen Council President Rashad al-Alimi in phone call

“The Secretary underscored the need to seize the momentum from these positive developments to secure a lasting ceasefire and a comprehensive peace process,” the State Department said.

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Yemen’s new Presidential Leadership Council President Dr. Rashad al-Alimi, during a call Thursday, the State Department said.

Blinken welcome welcomed this week’s meeting in Aden between Yemeni officials, and he underscored the importance of an effective and transparent government “that advances efforts to end the Yemeni conflict and protects human rights.”

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Al-Alimi was picked to head the eight-man leadership council, which assumed power from former President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi earlier this month.

This came after a truce was reached at the start of Ramadan between forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the Iran-backed Houthis.

On Thursday, Blinken reiterated US support for the ongoing truce and the easing of the movement of people and goods, including fuel.

“He further stressed the importance of opening roads to Taiz and other areas,” a readout of the call said. “The Secretary underscored the need to seize the momentum from these positive developments to secure a lasting ceasefire and a comprehensive peace process.”

Last week, US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking returned from a three-week trip to the Gulf and Jordan as part of his efforts to help mediate a ceasefire.

Lenderking welcomed the pledge by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to each provide $1 billion in economic support for the Central Bank of Yemen and Saudi Arabia’s pledge to provide $1 billion for development projects and fuel support as well as $300 million for the UN’s humanitarian response plan.

Read more: Yemen’s president hands over power, relieves VP of duties: State-run news agency

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