Arab leaders, international players welcome Riyadh Agreement
LONDON - The signing of the Riyadh Agreement was received positively by Arab leaders and key international players, including the United States and the United Nations.
The power-sharing deal between the internationally recognised Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) was expected to open the path for an end to infighting in southern Yemen and prepare for a comprehensive political solution that may include the Houthi rebels and move Yemen out of the war that has engulfed the country since 2015.
“Signing the agreement, which is the fruit of long and relentless efforts exerted by our brothers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, will be a turning point in the battle against the Houthi militia and a new stage towards strengthening relations between the Arab coalition and the STC,” said STC spokesman Nizar Haitham.
US President Donald Trump, who rarely comments on the war in Yemen, wrote on Twitter that the agreement was a “very good” start, calling on all parties to continue to exert efforts to reach a final deal.
A British Foreign Office statement read: “The British government welcomes the signing of the Riyadh agreement between the Yemeni legitimacy and the Southern Transitional Council and supports this document as an important step to reach a comprehensive political solution in Yemen.”
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said the Riyadh Agreement is “a great step towards resolving the Yemeni crisis.”
“I have followed with great pleasure the signing of the deal between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council under the generous auspices of King Salman [bin Abdulaziz Al Saud] and attendance of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [bin Abdulaziz] and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan,” Sisi posted on Twitter.
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah hailed the pact in a message to King Salman, saying it would “contribute to unifying ranks to solve differences and preserve brotherly Yemen’s security and stability.”
The UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths congratulated the two sides on the deal, which he said would drive efforts to end the civil war that has devastated the country. "The signing of this agreement is an important step for our collective efforts to advance a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Yemen," Griffiths said.
Yemeni Minister of Information Muammar al-Eryani praised Saudi Arabia's role in reaching the deal.
“We highly appreciate the relentless efforts of our brothers in KSA to accomplish the agreement and work to unite the Yemenis against challenges, especially the Iranian threat and its proxy Houthis,” Eryani wrote on Twitter.
The agreement was signed November 5 by Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and STC President Aidarus al-Zoubaidi. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed attended the signing ceremony in Riyadh.