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[London – 21 November] The Southern Transitional Council President, Aidroos Zubaidi, met the British Ambassador to Yemen, Michael Aron, on 19 November. The meeting follows from the STC’s increased diplomatic activity, including engagement with the UK. Commenting on the meeting and recent developments, Dr Saleh al-Haj, the STC’s UK Representative said:

“We welcome the UK’s efforts in engaging with the STC and for their support in advocating for an inclusive UN-led peace process to end the Yemeni conflict. As President Zubaidi informed his Excellency, Michael Aron, the STC’s aim firmly is on a political solution to address the legitimate needs of the Southern people.

“In this regard, we are fully focused on the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, which is an important stepping stone to the broader political track under the UN auspices. And it is through this lens the Southern issue and our participation in UN-led negotiations offers the best hope for securing a lasting deal for the Southern people and to end the broader Yemeni conflict.

“Against this backdrop, the STC is working with Yemeni government and our regional allies, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to deliver on the Riyadh Agreement so our people on the ground can see tangible benefits from the recent political efforts. This must include the delivery of basic services on the ground, the resumption of salaries to be paid to civil servants, support for Southern forces to counter the growing threat from extremists and the Houthis, and the urgent need for greater aid access across the Southern governorates.

“This approach requires a comprehensive and international effort to ensure we do not lose the recent momentum generated in kick starting the UN political process. Our international partners have an important role to play in this effort, and as such, the STC looks forward to our continued cooperation with the UK as we step up our preparations and plans for the resumption of UN-led negotiations in the near future.”

Dr Saleh al-Haj

Southern Transitional Council

UK Representative

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