Yemen, (PNB NEWS). On Friday, the leader of Yemen’s new presidential council announced that a peace process would be used to end the seven-year protracted and deadly conflict.
It was his first speech since the country’s president delegated power to the body this week.
“The Leadership Council promises the Yemeni people that the war will be ended and peace will be achieved through a comprehensive peace process that assures all of the Yemeni people’s wishes,” Rashad al-Alimi said in a televised address.
On Thursday, President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is residing in Riyadh, ceded power to the council and fired his deputy, amid UN-led efforts to restart peace talks.
In his speech, Alimi, who has deep ties to Riyadh and the Islamist Islah party, a significant Yemeni group, said the council would seek to address “challenges in all parts of Yemen without bias or exceptions.”
Tens of thousands have been killed, the economy has been devastated, and Yemen is on the verge of famine. The conflict is widely perceived to be a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Houthis, who are backed by Iran, claim to be fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression. Riyadh has urged the UN Security Council to hold talks with the Houthis under UN auspices “for a final and comprehensive solution.” The Houthi group did not respond immediately to a request for comment, Arab news reported.
On Thursday, the Houthis’ chief negotiator, Mohammed Abdulsalam, reacted to the council’s formation by calling it a “gag”.