Riyadh: The Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) have sounded upbeat over a power-sharing deal that both sides are scheduled to sign on Tuesday, ending their feud and refocus efforts on fighting the Iran-allied Al Houthi militia.
STC spokesman Nizar Haitham said that the Saudi-brokered pact will promote development of Yemeni territory liberated from Al Houthis.
“The agreement will also direct weapons against the one and common enemy, who is Al Houthis and set the stage for a new phase of partnership and cooperation,” he told Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.
The Yemeni government and the STC are partners to a military coalition, co-led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, fighting in Yemen against Al Houthis.
In August, clashes erupted between Yemeni forces and STC loyalists, triggering a rift in the anti-Al Houthi alliance.
Saudi Arabia hosted indirect talks between the two sides, resulting in the pact, officially known as the Riyadh agreement.
Yemeni Information Minister Moammar Eryani underlined the importance of adhering to the accord and implementing it in good faith.
“The government calls for a constructive approach to this agreement away from political wrangling,” Eryani said. He called for unifying Yemenis’ efforts for the “battle of bringing down Al Houthi coup.”
The deal includes forming a 24-strong government equally composed from Yemen’s southern and northern provinces, excluding Al Houthis. The Saudi-led alliance will oversee a joint government-STC committee in charge of implementing the pact.
According to the accord, the government will return to Yemen’s southern city of Aden, which the pro-STC forces seized from the government troops in August.
Aden became the seat of the Yemeni government after Al Houthi militiamen seized the capital Sana’a in a coup late 2014, plunging the impoverished country into a ruinous war.
The signing ceremony will be held on Tuesday in Riyadh in the presence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammad Al Jabir said this week.
Last week, the UAE announced the return of its forces from Aden after having successfully accomplished their role in liberating and stabilising the city, and transferring its charge to Saudi and Yemeni forces.