Separatists in Yemen refuse to negotiate under “threat”

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Separatists in southern Yemen said Sunday that they would not negotiate “under threat”, stressing at the same time they stand with the Saudi-led military coalition in their country, the day after Riyadh called for a meeting of the Yemeni warring parties in the kingdom threatened to use ” Military force “to impose an immediate ceasefire.

In his Eid al-Adha sermon in Aden, the deputy chairman of the Southern Transitional Council (NTC), Hani Brik, stressed that “stability and non-negotiation are under threat.”

Separatists on Saturday declared control of the presidential palace in the interim capital of the internationally recognized government of Yemen after fierce clashes between forces loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government and gunmen from the “security belt”.

The military coalition on Saturday called for an “immediate” ceasefire in Aden, saying it would use “military force” against those who violated it.

The Yemeni Foreign Ministry blamed the Southern Transitional Council and the UAE for supporting the “consequences of the coup” in Aden, calling on Abu Dhabi to participate in the coalition, to immediately stop its financial and military support for the separatists.

Ben Brik also stressed “commitment to the legitimacy of Hadi and stand by the coalition.”

The Southern Transitional Council announced at dawn Sunday in a statement “its response and its full commitment to the ceasefire.”

The council also welcomed Saudi Arabia’s call for dialogue, stressing that it is ready for it.

The military alliance announced Sunday morning that it “targeted an area that poses a direct threat to one of the important positions of the legitimate government,” the day after the southern separatists took control of the presidential palace in Aden (south).

The statement called on the Southern Transitional Council, which seeks independence for southern Yemen, to “immediately and completely withdraw from the positions taken by force.”

“This operation will be the first and will be followed by another operation if the coalition statement is not complied with,” the coalition said in a statement.

The coalition said it would “protect the sites from which the transition council withdraws.”

The streets of Aden were quiet on Sunday morning, the first day of Eid al-Adha, after coalition raids, witnesses said.

Witnesses said the air strikes targeted the Badr and Jebel Hadid camps in the city, which were controlled by separatists.

The southern separatists announced Saturday evening that they had taken control of the presidential palace in Aden, the interim capital of the Yemeni government.

The Yemeni Foreign Ministry on Saturday blamed the Southern Transitional Council and the UAE for supporting the “consequences of the coup” in Aden, calling on Abu Dhabi to immediately stop its financial and military support for the separatists.

Aden has been the provisional capital of the government since the Houthi rebels took control of Sanaa in September 2014.

Since 2014, Yemen has been at war between Houthi rebels close to Iran and forces loyal to the government of the recognized president, and fighting escalated in March 2015 as Saudi Arabia intervened at the head of a military alliance in support of government forces.

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