Yemeni Prime Minister says peace depends on extent of Houthi’s surrender to Iran

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The establishment of peace is dependent on the extent to which Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis “surrender to Iran’s agenda,” Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Saeed said in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya.

Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi transferred his powers to a newly established presidential leadership council and relieved the vice president Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar of his duties on Thursday.

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The former president vacated the post 10 years after he was elected to power in 2012.

The Prime Minister told Al Arabiya that the changes that have been made will “help to accommodate everyone and strengthen legitimacy.”

The head of Yemen’s new presidential council said on Friday he would end the seven-year-long war via a peace process, in his first speech since power was delegated to the body by the country’s president this week.

“The leadership council promises the people to end the war and achieve peace through a comprehensive peace process that guarantees the Yemeni people all its aspirations,” Rashad Al-Alimi said in the televised speech.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with the newly-formed Yemeni presidential council on Thursday.

The Kingdom on Thursday welcomed the Yemeni president’s decision to transfer his powers to a new presidential council, urged the body to start negotiations with the Iran-backed Houthi militia and said it would arrange $3 billion of support to the war-torn country’s economy, state news agency SPA said.

Two billion dollars would come from Riyadh and another $1 billion from the United Emirates, which is part of the Arab Coalition.

In light of this support from two of the key players in Yemen’s fight for legitimacy, Saeed reportedly pledged to work to “enhance the government’s ability to meet the demand for foodstuffs,” and stressed the importance of the support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“It will contribute to supporting the economy and the currency,” he said in the interview, while calling on other Gulf states to offer similar instances of support.

On Thursday, the UN announced its readiness to work with the newly formed council and the respective Yemeni parties to reach a permanent and sustainable solution to the conflict.

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