Egyptian Foreign Ministry headquarters (file photo)
Egypt’s foreign ministry welcomed the announcement by the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen to form a power-sharing cabinet between the Yemeni government and southern separatists, calling it “an important step” towards resolving the Yemeni crisis.
The new cabinet would engage the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the internationally-recognised government in Yemen.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez hailed the announcement that came in implementation of the Riyadh accord.
The accord was reached in late 2019 to ease tensions between the STC and the internationally-recognised government --both parties are supported by the Saudi-led coalition -- and to facilitate UN efforts to enforce a permanent ceasefire in Yemen.
The latest agreement is “an important step towards reaching a comprehensive, political settlement to the Yemeni crisis,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said.
The ministry hailed Saudi Arabia’s efforts in sponsoring the implementation of the Riyadh agreement and reaching a political solution to the Yemeni crisis.
It also praised "the keenness of the Yemeni parties, represented in the legitimate Yemeni government and the STC, to [prioritise] the interests of Yemen and achieve the aspirations of its brotherly people towards ending the extending crisis in the country, in an effort to restore security and stability and achieve the desired development.”
Despite being allies within the coalition, the STC earlier this year declared self-rule in Aden, and the two sides have been fighting in the south.
Prime Minister Maeen Abdul-Malik was re-appointed as head of the recently announced power-sharing cabinet, which includes five ministers from Yemen’s biggest political blocs, including the STC and Islah Party, a statement from President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi’s office said.
However, Hadi has kept his closest allies in the key ministries of defence, interior, foreign affairs, and finance.
The new government was formed two weeks after the separation of forces and the redeployment of troops in the south that would see their return to battlefronts with the Houthis in the north and outside Aden, the heavily disputed port city.