Anees al-Shurfi, member of the Yemeni Southern Transitional Council’s (STC) Negotiations Affairs Unit, confirmed that the STC is holding numerous talks with Saudi representatives, with the latest meeting joining the Unit’s head with Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber.
Al-Shurfi said that the meeting discussed a host of topics that relate to Yemen’s national interests in addition to the mechanism to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
In a phone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, al-Shurfi clarified that there are six terms stipulated by the accelerating mechanism, four of which have been fulfilled.
The two unfulfilled terms are the formation of a government and moving military units and equipment from Abyan to other battlefronts.
Al-Shurfi reaffirmed that as soon as the two remaining items are fulfilled, the two sides, the Yemeni government and the STC, will move to establish the remaining terms of the Riyadh Agreement.
He added that the accelerating mechanism focus on applying the terms in Aden and Abyan and that the rest of the Riyadh Agreement covers other governorates such as Shabwah, Hadhramaut and Al Mahrah.
Al-Shurfi deemed government formation as the greatest challenge facing the mechanism.
“This is due to the presence of political forces clinging to its authority and influence,” he explained, adding that if government formation takes place, remaining provisions could be easily met.
“Saudi Arabia always has a positive role, and its support covers all levels, political, military and economic,” al-Shurfi said on the Saudi mediation between the STC and the Yemeni government.
He praised the kingdom for helping out despite the difficult regional conditions it faces.
“Its (Saudi Arabia’s) role in all stages is positive and works to bring about balance,” he reaffirmed.
Al-Shurfi also confirmed that the STC supports the Arab initiative taken to liberate Yemen and free it from the Houthi adopted Iranian agenda.