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Will World Finally See End To Yemen war? MBS Put Forward Tough Terms

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Opinion |

The power-sharing agreement signed in Riyadh on November 5 between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government headed by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and UAE-backed southern separatist group known as the Southern Transitional Council (STC) gives reason to hope that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is veering round to the political track to end the bloody war in Yemen.

The agreement as such gives patently unrealistic deadlines and the terms of the deal are far too ambitious — such as the formation of a new government with half of the cabinet posts for the STC; surrender of weapons by the STC within next 15 days and for organizing under a single political and military chain of command, etc.

Nonetheless, what stands out is the main political thrust aimed at bringing the STC on board to prevent a ‘war-within-the-war’ in southern Yemen by formally giving representation to it in any peace talks with the main Houthi opposition, with the intent to make the group a stakeholder rather than be as a spoiler.

The war in Yemen began in 2015 as a joint enterprise of the Saudi and UAE crown princes, conceived in the privacy of their friendship, as another front against Iran

Yet, the trust deficit between Hadi and STC is all too obvious. Both Hadi and the STC head Aidarous al-Zubaidi left it to subordinates to sign the peace document and apparently didn’t even shake hands and they later met the Saudi Crown Prince separately.

Clearly, the Saudi compulsions largely........

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