Arab states welcome formation of presidential council in Yemen

Yemen's president cedes powers to Presidential Leadership Council consist of 7 deputy chairmen to govern country during transitional period.

Arab states welcome formation of presidential council in Yemen

Arab countries have welcomed the formation of Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council, headed by Rashad al-Alimi, as well as the urgent financial support provided by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the Yemeni economy.

Early on Thursday, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi delegated his powers to the newly established Presidential Leadership Council to govern the country during the transitional period.

The council is made up of seven deputy chairmen, including Aidarous al-Zubaidi, the head of the Southern Transitional Council and backed by the UAE.

The other members are Sultan Ali al-Arada, Tariq Mohammed Saleh, Abdulrahman Abu Zara'a, Abdullah Bawazeer, Othman Hussein Megally and Farah Salmin al-Bahsani.

On Thursday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with members of the council led by al-Alimi, who pledged in a tweet to work on rebuilding the country and its modern civil state as well as protecting the gains of the revolution and unity.

In a statement carried out by the official news agency SPA, Saudi Arabia expressed its "full support for the Presidential Leadership Council and its supporting entities."

It urged the council "to start negotiating with the Houthis, under the supervision of the United Nations, to reach a final and comprehensive political solution that includes a transitional period that will move Yemen to peace and development."

Riyadh also pledged $3 billion in emergency aid to the Yemeni economy, one billion of which will be provided by the UAE, as well as $300 million to fund the UN humanitarian operation in Yemen.

In a statement, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry welcomed the formation of the Presidential Leadership Council and affirmed its support for it in carrying out its responsibilities.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry also welcomed the council's formation, stressing that Amman "supports efforts to resolve the Yemeni crisis in order to reach a political solution," and appreciating Saudi Arabia and the UAE for their financial support.

In a statement, Secretary Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef al-Hajraf welcomed the move, stressing his support "in everything that achieves stability in Yemen."

For its part, the Arab League affirmed its support for the council "as an embodiment of Yemeni legitimacy," and expressed optimism that it would lead the country to peace.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition, which seeks to reinstate the Yemeni government, has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises. Nearly 80%, or about 30 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 13 million are in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.