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Yemeni authorities deny participation in negotiations with southern separatists

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The internationally recognized government of Yemen has denied media reports about participating in indirect negotiations in Jeddah with separatists from the Transitional Council of South Yemen.

Earlier, Arab media reported that Yemeni authorities and separatists began indirect negotiations in Saudi Jeddah, where representatives of the Transitional Council arrived on Tuesday at the invitation of the Saudi authorities, who are trying to establish dialogue between the parties to the conflict in southern Yemen.

The spokesman for the council, Nizar Khaysam, told RIA that in the next two days a series of meetings are expected with the Saudi side, in particular with the Deputy Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia, Khaled bin Salman.

“There are no direct or indirect negotiations with the separatist groups that made the coup,” Mukhtar al-Rahbi, adviser to the Information Minister, told RIA on Wednesday.

He explained that members of the Yemeni government met with the Saudi leadership in Jeddah to share the government’s vision of the situation around the coup and armed rebellion in the south of the country, which, according to the Yemeni authorities, support the UAE.

“There will be no dialogue with the separatists until the complete withdrawal of their forces from state institutions and the transfer of government structures to the legitimate authorities,” he said.

He emphasized that the Yemenis would not accept the threat to the government in order to force it to participate in the negotiations until the separatists left their positions.

In southern Yemen, hostilities continue between government forces and forces loyal to the Transitional Council of Southern Yemen, which advocates the separation of this part of the country from the north, where the rebels from the Shiite movement Ansar Allah (Hussites) rule.

The situation escalated on August 7, when troops loyal to the Transitional Council of South Yemen captured government agencies, military camps and government organizations in Aden.

After the intervention of Saudi Arabia, which, at the request of the internationally recognized government of Yemen, urged the separatists to vacate their positions and invited them to Jeddah to negotiate with the government, the Transitional Council formally agreed to the demands of Riyadh.

However, instead of freeing up positions in Aden, troops loyal to him began to seize other provinces in the south of the country. Since the beginning of the escalation, the Yemeni government has continued to accuse the UAE of providing financial and military support to the separatists and is demanding that Abu Dhabi end its policy of dividing Yemen.

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