SMA NEWS – ADEN THE CAPITAL
The President of the Southern Transitional Council, Vice President of the Yemen Presidential Leadership Council Maj-Gen Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, and a senior-level delegation arrived in the UK on June 19, 2023, for engagement with the British Government, politicians and Members of Parliament, Peers at the House of Lords, and broader engagement with policy makers and civil society.
During these important meetings, President Al-Zubaidi gave an overview of the situation in Yemen and expressed his deep concern on the humanitarian and economic situation of the country. He welcomed the continuous cooperation with the UK in progressing a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, including the need for urgent action to address the dire humanitarian and economic crises on the ground affecting the civilian population. The President emphasized the people-first approach of the STC and how all their actions are driven by the needs of the constituency.
As part of the visit, President Al-Zubaidi was the keynote speaker at a conference on the Yemen crisis organized by Chatham House. The President’s remarks at the conference emphasized the constructive role of the STC in cooperation with other local and regional partners to bring a meaningful and inclusive political settlement to the Yemen conflict. During this speech, President Al-Zubaidi specifically called for an inclusive political process, including the inclusion of women, and went on record calling for the appointment of female ministers within the government. Many issues were examined, as were the difficult challenges facing the current government and the Presidential Leadership Council.
Underpinning the above and the President’s engagement was the need for the South to be able to determine its future. The realities on the ground required a recalibration of the political process in recognition of the legitimate objective of Southerners returning to an independent state.
During the visit, the President and STC delegation engaged with the southern Yemeni diaspora in the UK. The engagement was an important opportunity to brief the community on the progress made to bring peace to the country as well as discuss the current political and economic situation. The president was keen to encourage the community to participate in the economic development of South Yemen.
President Al-Zubaidi raised concerns over the continuation of the war and the Houthi intransigence to engage properly in a peace process. He said that the economic potential in the South is huge – but stability is fundamental to success. He emphasized that an immediate and permanent ceasefire was needed as a steppingstone to a credible and inclusive roadmap for peace negotiations under UN auspices. Such a roadmap needed to set out a clear framework for addressing the Southern question in reflection of the new realities on the ground.
The STC delegation included:
– Amr Al-Bidh member of the STC Presidential Council, Representative of the STC President of Foreign Affairs
– Mohammed Al Ghaithi, member of the STC Presidential Council, Chairman of the Consultation and Reconciliation Committee
– Rajeh Saeed Bakureit, member of the STC Presidential Council
– Dr. Saleh Mohsen Al-Haj, Head of the STC General Directorate of Foreign Affairs
– Emad Mohammed, Vice President Al-Zubaidi’s Office Manager
– Yusra Shafiq, a member of the STC Economic Committee
– Ali Mahmood, President Al-Zubaidi’s Media and Press secretary.
– Muneer Abdullah, President Al-Zubaidi’s Special Secretary