STC HIGH LEVEL VISIT TO MOSCOW INTENSIFIES INTERNATIONAL FOCUS ON ‘SOUTHERN ISSUE’
[MOSCOW – 24 MARCH 2019] President of the Southern Transitional Council, Mr Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, and the delegation accompanying him concluded today a high-level visit to Moscow that included meetings with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mikhail Bogdanov, and members of the Federal Assembly of Russia, including Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Mr Leonid Slutsky. The visit coincided with meetings in Aden between the STC leadership and Russian Ambassador to Yemen Vladimir Dedushkin. Speaking at the end of the visit, President Al-Zubaidi commented:
“We greatly appreciate the warm reception our delegation received from the Russian Foreign Ministry and Federal Assembly members. We were pleased to respond to the invitation of our Russian friends and we look to further develop a strategic relationship with Moscow to secure the Southern people’s right to a solution for their cause, to fulfill their will, and achieve regional stability.
“Throughout our meetings in Moscow, there was collective agreement on the objective of a credible political solution, including a lasting ceasefire building on the Stockholm deal. This has been the STC’s position since the beginning, and we will continue to engage with UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and the international community as part of this commitment. In Moscow, we were in agreement on the importance of addressing the Southern issue for the success of the Yemen political process and stability of the region; we commend Russia’s leadership on this reality and look to working together to ensure this.
“A significant component of our discussions was the STC’s plan for the governorates that comprise South Yemen. The status quo is proof that the pre-2015 policies and conditions are no longer feasible. We presented our vision for our role on multiple issues, starting with humanitarian access, counter-terrorism, and governance and security arrangements. The STC is already leading much of this work on the ground and we stand ready to be a partner with the international community to enable a just and sensible political process that restores stability and tackles the risks to the region.
“Urgently, we made clear that genuine Southern representation is needed at the table to shape the very outcomes that will ensure the success of peace, and through which Southerners will determine their future. This requires international guarantees to be put on the table, which secures the interests of the Southern people and gains their confidence into the political process. Ultimately, it is up to the Southern people to determine what that future is, and it is our responsibility as their representatives to deliver a path for them to do so. This is the only way for sustainable peace, and we look to our Russian friends to lead a push to ensure our participation in the political process and to support the demands of the South. Lastly, we look forward to the day when we can re-establish diplomatic relations between our two states in our capital Aden”.
Aidaros Qassim Al-Zubaydi
Southern Transitional Council