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Yemen Swears in Presidential Leadership Council

Yemen Swears in Presidential Leadership Council

Tuesday, 19 April, 2022 - 18:00
The head of Yemen's new presidential council Rashad al-Alimi stands during a session of the Yemeni parliament during which he and members of the council took the oath in Aden, Yemen April 19, 2022. (Reuters)

Yemen’s new Presidential Leadership Council was sworn in Tuesday in the southern port city of Aden

The swearing-in took place before the parliament in a ceremony attended by Gulf officials, and foreign ambassadors and the US and UN envoys to Yemen.

Aden serves as the interim seat of the legitimate government since the Iran-backed Houthi militias seized the capital of Sanaa in 2014, setting off Yemen’s long-running war.

The presidential council was appointed earlier this month after former President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi stepped aside. Hadi transferred his powers and those of his vice president to the council, which will run the country and lead peace talks with the Houthis.

The seven-member council is chaired by Rashad al-Alimi, an advisor to Hadi and former interior minister. The members of the council are Sultan Ali Al-Arada, Tariq Mohammed Saleh, Abdurrahman Abu Zaraa, Abdullah Al-Alimi Bawazeer, Othman Hussein Majali, Aidaros Qassem Al-Zubaidi and Faraj Salmin Al-Bahsani.

Several Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ambassadors, led by Saudi Ambassador Mohammad Al Jaber, were present at the historic meeting which Yemenis hope will constitute a positive turning point in the country's path to end the war.

Yemeni Parliament Speaker Sultan al-Barakani confirmed that the legislative body would serve in support of the newly formed Presidential Leadership Council and the government to help them carry out national duties and achieve a just and permanent peace in Yemen.

Barakani also said that the parliament would back the return of authority to institutional work and aid in fixing the defect that marred the past stage and cast a shadow over the government’s performance on the economic, administrative, political and military levels.

Yemeni political analyst Mahmoud Al-Taher believes that Yemen is entering “a new era of decisiveness and firmness to end the war.”

Taher also believes that “there is an openness to all tracks, including the political, which began through the formation of the council, and extending the hand of peace, despite the great challenges.”

Speaking of the challenges facing the country, Taher emphasized the need for restructuring and repositioning armed and security forces as they are the primary and main guarantor of the peace or war process.

“Another challenge is present in the diligent work needed to restore the institutional work of the state, including completing the redistribution and reform of state institutions, especially those that were and still are affiliated with one political trend,” Taher told Asharq Al-Awsat.

According to Taher, this aims to create harmony in the management of institutions among the political components participating in the council.

“The process of reforming economic and service institutions must begin in order to normalize the situation and provide basic services,” added Taher, pointing out that the political track occupies the first place in the complexity and difficulties facing the council.

Taher explained that challenges pivot around the Houthi seriousness towards peace and the formation of negotiating and specialized committees, including security and military, that will be entrusted with a ceasefire if the Iran-backed group engages positively with peace efforts.

“Resolving the core political issues between the various components of the council, such as the southern issue and others, is considered one of the most important challenges that the council will face during the next stage, as solving them is an essential starting point for the process of uniting ranks and starting the comprehensive peace process,” explained Taher.

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