Yemen: US and UAE pledge full support for new presidential council

Washington and Abu Dhabi push for peace in war-torn country

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The UAE and the US welcomed Yemen’s new leadership and on Thursday called for a concerted effort to end the seven-year war.

Yemen’s new presidential council was sworn in this week. Its eight members include officials from across the country’s political and military sectors.

The council has been given the task of running the country after President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi stepped down this month.

Mr Hadi’s internationally recognised government has for seven years been locked in conflict with the Iran-backed Houthis rebels, who control the capital Sanaa and most of the north despite the Saudi-led coalition’s military intervention, launched in 2015.

Yemen president transfers power to presidential council

Yemen president transfers power to presidential council

A UN-brokered two-month truce between the warring sides began on April 2 and is so far holding, despite a number of breaches.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday spoke to Rashas Al Alimi, who heads the council, and urged Yemen’s new leaders to work towards a lasting peace.

Mr Blinken "underscored the need to seize the momentum from these positive developments to secure a lasting ceasefire and a comprehensive peace process", State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

He also called for progress on reopening roads to areas including Taez, Yemen's third-largest city, another key part of the truce brokered under UN special envoy Hans Grundberg.

The UAE congratulated Mr Al Alimi and members of the council for taking the constitutional oath in the city of Aden and pledged its full support.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation affirmed the UAE's full support for the council to enable it to carry out its tasks, foremost of which are peace, stability and development in Yemen,” a statement by state news agency Wam said.

The UAE said it will stand by Yemen and its people by “supporting their legitimate aspirations for development and prosperity as part of its support to achieve the interests of the region”.

Mr Hadi’s former chief of staff and current presidential council member Abdullah Al Alimi said this week that he and other members would pursue peace in Yemen while remaining ready for war.

Mr Hadi's April 7 announcement in which he handed power to the council came at the end of talks in the Saudi capital Riyadh that brought together anti-Houthi factions but were boycotted by the Houthis themselves.

Updated: April 23, 2022, 3:52 AM