The Arab Coalition supporting Yemen’s UN-recognized government urged all parties in Yemen to return to the Riyadh Agreement following a surprising declaration of “self-rule” in Aden by the Southern Transitional Council (STC).
“We stress the need to restore conditions to their previous state in the interim capital Aden. Following the surprising announcement of a state of emergency by the Southern Transitional Council, we re-emphasize the need to promptly implement the Riyadh Agreement,” the Coalition said in a statement on Monday.
The Coalition, which is led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, stressed “the need to restore conditions to their previous state following the announcement of a state of emergency by the Southern Transitional Council and the consequential development of affairs in the capital (Aden) and some Southern governorates in Yemen.”
It urged all parties to immediately end any steps contrary to the Riyadh Agreement, “and work rapidly towards its implementation,” citing the wide support for the agreement by the international community and the United Nations.
“The Coalition has and will continue to undertake practical and systematic steps to implement the Riyadh Agreement between the parties to unite Yemeni ranks, restore state institutions and combat the scourge of terrorism. The responsibility rests with the signatories to the Agreement to undertake national steps toward implementing its provisions, which were signed and agreed upon with a timeframe for implementation,” the statement added.
It also demanded “an end to any escalatory actions and calls for return to the Agreement by the participating parties, stressing the immediate need for implementation without delay, and the need to prioritize the Yemeni peoples’ interests above all else, as well as working to achieve the stated goals of restoring the state, ending the coup and combatting terrorist organizations.”
The Coalition reaffirmed “its ongoing support to the legitimate Yemeni government, and its support for implementing the Riyadh Agreement, which entails forming a competent government that operate from the interim capital Aden to tackle economic and developmental challenges, in light of natural disasters such as floods, fears of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and work to provide services to the brotherly people of Yemen.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan tweeted: “The Riyadh Agreement, guarantees political cooperation for the interests of the Yemeni people, and is backed by the UN and the international community.”
“We call for restoring the conditions in Aden as they were before the STC statement, and to implement the Riyadh Agreement.”
“We in (Saudi Arabia) and United Arab Emirates strongly believe that the internationally backed Riyadh Agreement has guaranteed an opportunity for the brotherly Yemeni people to live in peace,” Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said in a tweet. “We reject any hostilities that will jeopardize the safety and stability of Yemen.”
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman tweeted that the Arab coalition statement, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, underscores its constant commitment towards the security and stability of Yemen.
“During these challenging global times, leaders in Aden must realize their historic responsibility to keep the Yemeni people safe, and more violence will not achieve that. The Riyadh Agreement, which is backed by the international community, must be implemented,” he urged.
“We urge all parties in Aden to put the Yemeni people first and abide by commitments made in the Riyadh Agreement last November. KSA and UAE reaffirm that the agreement represents the only way forward, and we hope parties will observe their commitments” he added.
Restoring the security and stability of Yemen are among Saudi Arabia’s top priorities, stressed Prince Khalid.
Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber said the Riyadh Agreement was a “practical solution to preserve Yemen’s stability and restore its institutions.”
“Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other members of the coalition have always sought the interests of the Yemeni people and they are constantly exerting efforts to implement the agreement and bridge divides between the two parties,” he said. “They will continue their efforts until the Yemeni people reach peace, security and stability.”
The legitimate Yemeni government declared the STC’s announcement of self-rule in the South as a coup against the Riyadh Agreement.
It condemned it as a continuation of the armed rebellion, noting that six provinces and local authorities have rejected the announcement and sided with the legitimate government.
The STC is a political movement that was formed in 2017. Its members describe it as an extension of the southern separatist movement that was formed after the 1994 war.
The council has accused the government of shirking its responsibilities in implementing the Riyadh Agreement. Government officials, on the other hand, have said that they have not been able to return to Aden and resume their duties.
The government slammed the STC announcement as an attempt to “escape blame from its failure to serve the people in Aden given the lack of services after all state institutions have been obstructed and the government has been prevented from practicing its duties.”