Arab League hails Yemen peace deal

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Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit welcomes formation of Yemeni Presidential Council

Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Thursday welcomed the Yemeni president’s decision to transfer his power to a newly established Yemeni Presidential Council, the AL said in a statement.

Aboul-Gheit expressed his hopes that the new body will lead the war-torn country to peace, calling on the Yemeni parties to preserve the ongoing truce as a step for continuing serious negotiations to end the suffering of Yemeni people.

“Peaceful settlement will restore peace and security, and prevent exploiting Yemen as a threat to its neighbors,” the statement added.

The newly established Yemeni Presidential Council, consisting of eight members and headed by Rashad Muhammad Al-Alimi, will have the power to rule the Yemeni state politically, militarily, and on the security front.

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Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million and pushed the country to the brink of starvation, according to the UN.

Saudi Aid to Yemen

 Saudi Arabia announced 3-billion-U.S. dollars support for Yemen following the formation of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council.

The support includes 2 billion dollars offered jointly by the kingdom and the United Arab Emirates to the Yemeni Central Bank, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It also includes 1 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia, in which 600 million dollars to fund the purchase of oil derivatives and 400 million dollars to support development projects and initiatives, it said.

Saudi Arabia also announced offering 300 million dollars for the United Nations’ (UN) humanitarian response plan in 2022 to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

Meanwhile, the kingdom urged the newly formed Yemeni council to embark on negotiations with the Houthis under the auspices of the UN to reach a final and comprehensive political solution.

Earlier on the day, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has announced the establishment of a Presidential Leadership Council and handed over his power to the council, which will proceed with the duties during the transitional period.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government of Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened on March 26, 2015 to support the Yemeni government.