Yemeni government back in Aden under deal

Filed on November 19, 2019
Saudi forces stand guard during the arrival of Yemen's prime minister in Aden on Monday.


Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed landed in the southern port city of Aden.

Yemen's internationally recognised government returned to the war-torn country on Monday for the first time since it was forced out by Southern Transitional Council (STC) during clashes last summer.

Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed landed in the southern port city of Aden, fulfilling a key point in the power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia.

"The government's priorities in the next stage are to normalise the situation in Aden first and then consolidate state institutions on the ground ... as a guarantor of stability," Saeed said when he disembarked onto the tarmac.

He described the government's return as "foundational for the improvement of civic services," but added that "security challenges cannot be overlooked, especially at this stage."

Saeed, accompanied by five key ministers from President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government, was received by local officials and Saudi forces at the air base.

"Today we are uniting our efforts to defeat the Iranian project in Yemen and restore the state," the government said in a statement.

Hadi's ministers were expected to return last Tuesday.

The power-sharing deal, signed earlier this month in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh, calls for both sides to pull their forces out of Aden.

That leaves the city under the coalition's control, with only a presidential guard for Hadi's protection if the exiled president were to return.

The agreement also asks that the STC break up their militias and integrate them into Hadi's forces.

"The plan for incorporating the security services needs to be clear and transparent," Saeed told The Associated Press. "We have the support of the Saudis and the coalition leaders, factors that will help to implement the agreement through promising steps on the ground." 

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