Yemen: EU delegation visits Aden in support of unity government

Group includes ambassadors and head of European mission to Yemen

A general view of the southern port city of Aden, Yemen January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Fawaz Salman
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A high-level delegation from the European Union arrived in Aden, the interim capital of Yemen, on Saturday, in support of the unity government.

The European delegation to Yemen included the head of the mission Hans Grundberg and the ambassadors of Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Deputy Ambassador of Norway to the Republic of Yemen.

The European visitors held meetings with the Yemen Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik and other ministers in the Yemen power-sharing government, according to reports.

"The visit of the European delegation comes as a part of the European Union support to the Riyadh Agreement and efforts being exerted by the power-sharing government to normalise the situation in Aden and the liberated provinces", a government source told The National.

"The European delegation also discussed many other relevant issues including the Houthi delay to the UN salvage operation for the FSO Safer oil tanker, the Houthi terrorist attack which targeted the government at Aden airport on last December, as well as the UN sponsored peace process in Yemen", the source added.

According to the government source, the European delegation visiting Aden will hold meetings with the Southern Transitional Council and other officials.

The trip to Aden is the first for such a high-level delegation since Yemen's unity government returned to Aden in December.

Mr Grundberg delivered a written message from the President of the European Union Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, which included the EU's commitment as a robust partner to Yemen, according to Saudi Press Agency.
The EU "is ready to work together with the Yemeni government in various significant aspects, such as stability, human support and development-oriented cooperation, in the framework of the international community", the message said.

The EU delegation's visit comes a few days after US president Joe Biden appointed ambassador Tim Lenderking as the US special envoy to Yemen. This followed an announcement which confirmed American support of diplomatic efforts for solving the Yemen crisis.

The Yemen government welcomed Mr Biden’s speech and his decision to appoint Mr Lenderking in the role. It said the move was a crucial step to end to the Houthi-triggered war in the country.

The unity government in Yemen was formed in December in line with the Riyadh Agreement, which succeeded in ending a year-long standoff between the internationally recognised government and the Southern Transitional Council.