Yemen government and separatists sign deal to end power struggle in south

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Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and southern separatists signed an agreement on Tuesday to end a power struggle in the south of Yemen that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince hailed as a step toward a wider political solution to end the multifaceted conflict.

Saudi Arabia’s envoy to Yemen told reporters that the pact, reached after more than a month of indirect talks in the kingdom, would see the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) join a new cabinet along with other southerners and all armed forces would be placed under government control.

“This agreement will open, God willing, broader talks between Yemeni parties to reach a political solution and end the war,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a televised signing ceremony in Riyadh.

U.S. President Donald Trump praised the agreement on Twitter: “A very good start! Please all work hard to get a final deal.”

The deal, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, calls for the formation of a new cabinet of no more than 24 ministers within 30 days that would have equal representation for northerners and southerners. STC would join any political talks to end the war.

United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths, who is trying to restart talks to end a war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, said the deal was an important step in peace efforts.


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