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Yemeni lawmakers approve National Salvation Government

11 December 2016 16:11

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Yemen’s recently-formed National Salvation Government wins a vote of confidence from the parliament, raising hopes that the ongoing political efforts would help restore peace to the conflict-ridden country.

During a voting session on Saturday, Yemeni lawmakers overwhelmingly endorsed the new administration that was formed by the Houthi Ansarullah movement and its allies late last month to replace the Supreme Political Council.

The government, which was sworn in on November 29, has drawn up a program focused on addressing the economic crisis exacerbated by the Saudi blockade and dealing with the kingdom’s military aggression against the impoverished nation.

Led by the former governor of Aden, Abdul Aziz bin Habtoor, the new government has pledged to help UN efforts aimed at bringing back stability to Yemen.

Ansarullah leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said recently that the new administration was formed with the aim of boosting efforts to run domestic affairs and better serving the nation.

He has called on all Yemeni parties to throw their weight behind the new administration.

Iran welcomes vote of confidence

In another development, Iran has welcomed the Yemeni parliament’s vote of confidence, expressing hope that the new establishment, along with the country’s legislative chamber, will take effective steps to deal with the aftermath of the devastating Saudi war and improve services to violence-stricken citizens.

In a Saturday statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic hopes that the new cabinet would help restore peace and stability to Yemen and resolve differences among different groups.

He also voiced regret over attempts by certain parties affiliated with the former Yemeni government to sabotage the political efforts aimed at ending the conflict in the Arabian Peninsula state.

Students gather inside a class at their school, which was recently hit by a Saudi airstrike, in Sa’ada, Yemen, November 29, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

He also underlined the need for the resumption of intra-Yemeni dialogue, an end to Saudi assaults and swift aid delivery to people across the country.

The last round of UN-backed peace talks was held between Yemen’s warring sides in Kuwait in August, but the negotiations had no tangible results and ended in deadlock.

The Houthis took control of state affairs two years ago after the resignation of ex-president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Hadi refused Ansarullah’s call to review his decision to step down and later fled to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, a move that led to more chaos in Yemen, which was already grappling with al-Qaeda terror threats. The former president returned to the country earlier this year and is now based in the port city of Aden.

Houthi fighters and the army soldiers have been defending the country against the Saudi military campaign, which was launched in March 2015 with the purpose of reinstalling Hadi, a close Riyadh ally.

At least 11,400 civilians have been killed in the Saudi offensive, according to a latest tally by a Yemeni monitoring group.

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