Most Yemen political factions agree presidential council


Most political factions in Yemen have agreed to establish an interim presidential council to administer the country’s affairs.

According to reports on Thursday, the United Nations hosted a new round of talks between political factions in Yemen a day after a deadline set by the Houthi Shia movement forces for the parties to resolve a power vacuum expired.

Except for the Salafist Islah party, all other parties attending the negotiations in the capital, Sana’a, agreed that a five-member presidential council handle the affairs in the crisis-hit country for up to a year, Reuters reported.

Reports said that the the Islah party was still considering the agreement.

Former Yemeni President Ali Nasser Mohammed was also chosen to preside over the council.

“Today’s Yemen is at a crossroads. I call on Yemen’s political leaders to take the responsibility, and put aside the political divergence. As a UN special envoy, I only accept a resolution through dialogues and talks,” Jamal Benomar, the UN envoy to Yemen, said.

The warring sides held the talks in a bid to find a solution to get the impoverished country out of the current political standstill.

The Houthi movement, which controls Sana’a, issued no statement after its deadline expired Wednesday, apparently waiting for the UN to speak out on the fate of the talks. On Sunday, the movement set a three-day deadline for the parties to resolve the political impasse that emerged after President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah offered their resignation last month.

Political factions said they failed to reach an agreement Wednesday, but Benomar said the talks would continue.

Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets on Monday in support of the Houthis, demanding an end to the country’s persisting political deadlock.

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