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Home World News Washington Post World News Yemen swears in presidential body after Hadi stepped aside

Yemen swears in presidential body after Hadi stepped aside

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SANAA, Yemen — Yemen’s internationally recognized presidential council was sworn in on Tuesday in the southern port city of Aden, state media reported.

The swearing-in took place in front of parliament at a ceremony attended by foreign ambassadors and US and UN envoys in Yemen, SABA news agency said.

Aden has been the temporary seat of the internationally recognized government since the Houthi rebels captured the capital Sanaa in 2014, unleashing Yemen’s long-running civil war.

The presidential council was appointed earlier this month after former president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi stepped aside. Hadi handed over his powers and those of his vice president to the council, which will administer the country and lead peace talks with the Houthis.

Hadi’s move came during joint international and regional efforts to end the conflict.

The move angered the Iranian-backed Houthis, as it was intended to unite the anti-Houthi camp after years of infighting and disputes. It came when the Houthis and the government embarked on a 60-day ceasefire brokered by the UN earlier this month.

The council is chaired by Rashad al-Alimi, an adviser to Hadi and a former interior minister in the government of the late strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh. He has close ties to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Alimi called on the international community to pressure the Houthis to engage in peace efforts, saying that despite the ceasefire, the rebels continued to attack the central city of Marib and other government-occupied areas.

The council is determined to “end the (Houthi) coup d’état and the war” and “establish a fair and lasting peace that preserves the state and its constitutional institutions,” it said.

Parliament Speaker Sultan al-Borkani repeated the same message. However, he warned that they were ready to fight on after the unification of the anti-Houthi camp.

“This is our chance to embark on the path of fair and honorable peace,” he said. “Our hands are still outstretched (for peace), and our weapons are ready at the same time.”

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis.

The council has seven other members, including Aydarous al-Zubaidi, head of the secessionist Southern Transitional Council — an umbrella group of heavily armed militias supported by the United Arab Emirates since 2015.

Also on the council are Sheikh Sultan al-Aradah, the powerful governor of the energy-rich Marib province, and Tariq Saleh, a militia leader and cousin of the late president with close ties to the UAE.

Another member is Abdel-Rahman Abu Zarah, commander of the UAE-backed Giants Brigades, who recently played a pivotal role in repelling the Houthi offensive against the central city of Marib.

The Houthis are supported by Iran, while government forces are assisted by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition that launched an air campaign in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government.

The war killed more than 150,000 people and drove Yemen to the brink of famine.



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