The Saudi government, the sponsor and guarantor of the Riyadh Agreement, as of publication time had not provided any explanation for the failure to im
Riyadh Agreement faces setback as first deadline passes without implementation
The Yemeni government’s return to its interim capital in Aden has been postponed beyond the deadline stipulated in the breakthrough agreement signed in Riyadh last week, raising concerns over the implementation timeline of the agreement.
The Riyadh Agreement was signed by the government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) on November 5, 2019, overseen and mediated by Saudi Arabia. As the first of many political, military and security clauses in the agreement, Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik was to start his work from Aden within seven days of the signing of the agreement, corresponding to Tuesday, November 12th.
Clause 3 of the Political and Economic Annex of the agreement states the following:
“The Prime Minister of the current government will begin his work in the interim capital Aden within 7 days of the signing of this agreement to activate all state institutions in the various liberated provinces to serve Yemeni citizens, and work on the payment of salaries and financial benefits to employees of all military sectors.”
A government source, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press, told Al-Masdar Online on Tuesday that the prime minister's return to Aden was postponed for “logistical reasons.” According to the government official, the logistical reasons relate to the arrangements by the Saudis for Al-Ma’ashik Palace (the Presidential Palace) in Aden and other looted facilities, in addition to security arrangements.
Regarding the expected date of the government’s return to the interim capital, the source said that the prime minister was scheduled to return to Aden on Friday, in order to allow sufficient time to complete the necessary arrangements, but added that there is "no date is certain" and it is possible the government will not return until next week.
The Saudi government, the sponsor and guarantor of the Riyadh Agreement, as of publication time had not provided any explanation for the failure to implement the first clause. The agreement between the Yemeni government and the STC has been welcomed by foreign diplomats, but many Yemeni journalists and politicians have questioned whether it is realistically feasible to implement on the ground.