Yemen’s southern separatists say they were ready to attend a summit in Saudi Arabia to resolve a standoff in Aden after they seized the southern port, seat of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
“We thank Saudi Arabia for its earnest efforts to contain the crisis and invite the parties for talks in Jeddah,” the Southern Transitional Council (STC) said in a statement. “The meeting will be held as soon as necessary arrangements are completed.”
The STC statement outlined its plans for governance in Aden, including “moving all military units to bases outside the city with the exception of public security and support troops.”
“There is no daylight between the UAE and Saudi Arabia when it comes to Yemen. We are completely aligned,” a UAE official said in a statement.
“We remain deeply concerned over the situation in Aden, and the coalition’s engagement on the ground is evolving with the aim of establishing conditions for stability, security and peace,” the official added.
The UN is working to reduce tensions throughout Yemen to pave the way for negotiations to end the war that has killed tens of thousands.
Meanwhile, the Arab coalition supporting the legitimate government in Yemen said that it had intercepted a Houthi drone that was launched from Amran province in western central Yemen, said SPA.
Earlier, a Yemeni Southern Transitional Council (STC) leader tweeted saying that the council was, still is, and will remain closely allied to the Arab coalition in its efforts to defeat the “Iranian Houthi project.”
“We were, still are, and will remain a close ally to the Arab coalition, believing in the mission of defeating the Iranian-Houthi project,” Ahmed bin Fareed tweeted.
“The dreams of those who wanted us to be something else will be shattered. Loyalty is our law and we fulfil our promises,” he added.
Bin Fareed’s tweet included two pictures from the STC rally, one of which shows people holding a poster of Saudi King Salman with the words “Salman in our hearts.” The other shows the Saudi flag raised among dozens of STC flags.
The separatists are a component of the alliance that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthis.