South Arabia

President Al-Zubaidi at Chatham House: We have been struggling to gain peaceful independence for the South under supervision of the United Nations

President Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, President of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and Vice-Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council (PLC), said at noon on Thursday that the PLC is facing many challenges after the Houthi militia targeted oil installations in Shabwa and Hadramout. It took place at a symposium hosted by Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, headquartered in London.

President Al-Zubaidi emphasized in the context of his speech that the current government is no longer able to assume its responsibilities in providing the minimum level of basic public services, indicating that the measure taken by the governor of the capital, Aden, was a virtue of necessity to save the capital and to push for resolving matters within the PLC and the government.

Furthermore, President Al-Zubaidi touched on the work of the PLC, affirming that the relations between its members are wonderful and that each agrees that they are on a single front in confronting the Houthi militia and facing economic and humanitarian challenges, although each member has his own program.

During the symposium, the president gave an explanation of the organizational structure of the STC and its various bodies, asserting that the STC pursues a moderate civil policy and is committed to the international and regional community to respect international laws and covenants in its
uncompromising struggles to fulfill the aspirations of the people of the South and rejects using religion as an umbrella for political gains.

The president also touched on the issue of combating terrorism and the efforts of the southern armed forces in this regard, stressing that our southern forces are confronting the Houthi militias and combating terrorist organizations according to a deeply rooted national military doctrine.

In this respect, President Al-Zubaidi valued the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in combating terrorism in the country, as their presence was prominent in qualifying the security services that had completely collapsed due to the war, and today they are significantly performing their role in maintaining security and combating terrorism.

Regarding the political entity, which was recently announced under the name of the National Hadhrami Council (NHC), President Al-Zubaidi made it clear that full details are still not available to elaborate about it, affirming that the STC has adopted the path of dialogue with all components in the South and has started the first phase with entities that believe in the inevitability of restoring the state of the South and will definitely pursue the dialogue with the rest of the other powers.

And about the future vision of the work of the STC, President Al-Zubaidi affirmed that the South will not take any unilateral measures to declare independence and will devotedly work to achieve it through a peace process under the supervision of the United Nations.

President Al-Zubaidi reiterated that the southerners do not demand secession as some promote it, as they are not a minority, underscoring that the South was a country with a flag, anthem, currency, and seats in the United Nations and international and regional organizations, and its people have the right to regain their full sovereign state. Moreover, the south is an integral part of the region, has strategic relations with brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and aspires to be an active member of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the future.

At the end of his speech, President Al-Zubaidi revealed that he had turned down an offer to assume the presidency of Yemen because he had been shouldering the cause of a homeland and was never a seeker for power, indicating at the same time that moral, human, and fraternal responsibility necessitates the southerners not to leave their brothers in the people of North Yemen as victims of the Houthi militia.

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