Yemen’s president meets Saudi king after southern forces’ takeover of Aden

ADEN, Yemen, /Xinhua/

Yemen’s President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Sunday held a meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud one day after forces of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) seized the port city of Aden.

According to a statement released by the state-run Saba News Agency, “King Salman affirmed that he stands by the side of Yemen and rejects whatever threatens Yemen’s unity and social fabric mainly the acts of the separatist council.”

A number of senior Saudi officials, including the interior minister, attended the meeting that was held in Mecca of Saudi Arabia, said the statement.

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President Hadi expressed his appreciation of the Saudi support to Yemen by rejecting the coup against the state institutions, according to Saba.

On Saturday, the Saudi-led coalition involved in a war in Yemen demanded an immediate cease-fire in Aden and warned of military step against violators, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The coalition demanded the military groups in Aden to withdraw from areas they occupied in recent days and keep away from government and private property.

Earlier in the day, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched an airstrike on a military site belonging to the forces of the STC that seized all the government military bases including the presidential palace.

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government accused the STC forces of staging a coup against the country’s constitutional legitimacy with direct support from a regional power.

The Yemeni government held the STC and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key partner of Saudi-led coalition, full responsible for the consequences of the coup against the authorities in Aden.

The southern port city of Aden is almost entirely under the control of the STC forces that are also allied to the Saudi-led coalition in the fighting against the Houthis.

Aden’s fighting started when senior leaders of the STC accused the Saudi-backed Yemeni government of “backing Islamists and leaking information to the Iran-backed Houthis” who targeted an army base in Aden last week, killing scores of soldiers including commanders.

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Lise Grande said in a statement that “scores of civilians have been killed and wounded since Aug. 8 when fighting broke out in the city of Aden. Preliminary reports indicate that as many as 40 people have been killed and 260 injured.”

Considered Yemen’s temporary capital, Aden is where the Saudi-backed Yemeni government has based itself since 2015.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked in a civil war since late 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces including the capital Sanaa.

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