Amr Al-Bidh meeting representatives from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in London (Twitter)

Senior STC Official Visits London to Meet British Foreign Office


Sat, 30-07-2022 02:37 PM, Aden

Aden (South24) 

An Emirati newspaper reported that the Special Representative of the STS President for Foreign Affairs, Amr Al-Bidh, is currently carrying a visit to the British capital, London, to engage in consultations with the British Foreign Office and meet with international NGOs.

The newspaper quoted Al-Bidh saying that the fragile truce between the Houthis and the internationally recognized government should be renewed to avoid more deterioration of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. 

In his official visit to London this week, Al-Bidh said: “Rising energy and food prices brought about by the war in Ukraine were exacerbating an already dire situation on the ground.”

According to the newspaper’s report, which was partially translated by “South24”, Al-Bidh said “The truce really helped everyone. Everyone needs the truce, everyone is exhausted by this war and everyone wants to focus on helping the people and the economy.”

Al-Bidh also voiced his concern over “the rising price of fuel inside our already collapsing economy”.

US special envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking is arrived to the Middle East to hold visits to Saudi Arabia and Jordan to pursue diplomatic efforts to support the UN-mediated truce in Yemen according to the newspaper. 

While a cessation in military operations from both sides has held up and commercial flights from Sanaa have resumed — along with shipments of fuel vessels into the port of Hodeidah — not all provisions of the truce have been fully realised. Furthermore, roads leading to the largely government-held and besieged city of Taiz remain closed.

Al-Bidh told the newspaper: “We need to find solutions but the most important thing is that we don’t lose the truce. It's not just about the roads in Taiz, there are roads on six fronts that need to be opened and we did that unilaterally. But at the same time, we can't just focus on one issue. We want to focus on other things, on the people, on how to build institutions and organizations that can make reforms in the financial sector.”

Different agendas

The report said that inclusion in an overall peace process, should it come, is another concern for the STC. A new eight-member governing council in Yemen was formed after talks hosted by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh in April.

The Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) includes the STC President Aidrous Al-Zubaidi, but there are concerns within the Southern-based faction over whether their interests will feature in future negotiations according to the "National" news agency. 

Al-Bidh added: “The problem with the PLC is that eight people with different agendas is very complicated, it's not that easy. We don't have a good history in managing crises in Yemen, especially in South”.

He elaborated: “There should be a joint delegation between the STC and the government to manage the peace process and we want that. The majority of decisions affecting Yemen had been made without consulting the STC”. However, his group acknowledged that most of the outcomes were positive. “It’s a good thing for the people, we accept that. But we don't accept the way it's done.” he added. 

Al-Bidh said he met a delegation of international NGOs in London on Wednesday to discuss ways to obtain additional humanitarian aid for the suffering citizens. 

He added that critical funding gaps, global inflation and the knock-on effects of the war in Ukraine had made an already desperate situation worse.

“When this happens, then politically everyone is pointing at each other and saying "you're the one to blame’ and this destroys the PLC's cohesiveness because people are under pressure,” he said.

The newspaper reported that “people are suffering, even from within the military, they are on the streets, asking about their salaries. People can’t provide fuel or infrastructure, and it’s disastrous”.

According to the Emirati newspaper, Al-Bidh said that “his visit to London, during which he will consult with the Foreign Office, is part of the STC’s bid to continue engaging internationally and “in parallel” with the PLC”.

South24 Center

South YemenAdenLondonAl-BidhConsultationsForeign Office