Yemen's gov't, southern authority reach power-sharing deal

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-25 16:25:04|Editor: Li Xia
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ADEN, Yemen, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Saudi-backed Yemeni government reached a power-sharing deal with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) following several weeks of indirect talks between the two sides in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah, local sources said on Friday.

A source of Yemen's government told Xinhua that "a deal which includes forming a power-sharing government has been reached between the government and the STC under the auspices of Saudi Arabia."

He said on condition of anonymity that "representatives of the two sides have already signed the first draft of the deal that determined a specific time to form a new government composed of 24 members equally."

Yemen's President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi will nominate the 24 members of the new government equally between the southern and northern provinces of the war-torn Arab country, the Yemeni source said.

According to the source, the deal also stipulated that the next power-sharing government will operate from the southern port city of Aden, the country's interim capital, and exercise all its tasks in serving the people from there.

The source confirmed that the Saudi-sponsored deal will be signed officially with the presence of President Hadi and the head of the Aden-based STC Aidarous Zubaidi in two days in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh.

Another source of the government said that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition will form a joint committee to oversee and follow up on the implementation of the Riyadh deal between the two sides.

An official of the STC leadership in Aden confirmed to Xinhua that "the southern leaders began a new page of cooperation and partnership with Saudi Arabia and the regional powers."

"Following the Riyadh deal, the tense situation in southern Yemen will be ceased and both sides will work together on-ground," the source said anonymously.

He said that the deal between the STC and Yemen's government will take the situation to a new stage of security, peace, and stability in the country's southern regions.

"Saudi Arabia exerted hard efforts and again proved itself as a real sponsor of peace in Yemen and elsewhere in the region," he added.

Reconciliation talks between the Aden-based STC and the Yemeni government have been continuing in Saudi Arabia since last September.

But reaching a final deal was postponed because of interventions of regional countries that pushed their local Yemeni parties to refuse sharing power with the STC which is widely supported by the southern people.

In August, the STC seized control of the strategic southern port city of Aden and neighboring provinces following days of fighting with the government forces.

The STC is part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition to fight Iran-backed Houthi militias in northern Yemen in a war that has rekindled old strains between the north and south of Yemen.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since late 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern areas including the capital Sanaa.