Pakistan welcomes Saudi-brokered peace deal

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has welcomed the conclusion of the landmark “Riyadh agreement”, as a result of the initiative taken by the Saudi Arabia leadership and supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government.
“We believe it is a crucial and important step forward towards a political solution and durable peace and security in Yemen,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia brokered a power sharing agreement between Yemen’s internationally recognised government and southern separatists, which observers say could pave the way for a wider peace deal.
The development came after the rebel missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities spiked over the summer, followed by a lull in recent weeks. There was no immediate comment from the Houthi rebels, who seized the capital Sanaa and much of northern Yemen in 2014, sparking a Saudi-led military intervention the following March.
Washington too is in talks with the Houthis, Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker said during a visit to Saudi Arabia in September. He did not say whether the Americans were holding talks separately with the rebels.
But analysts say they were likely happening in consultation with Saudi Arabia, a key ally of Washington.
The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 as the rebels closed in on second city Aden, prompting President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee into Saudi exile.
Riyadh had reportedly hoped for a quick win against the Houthis, but instead waded into a quagmire that has cost it billions of dollars and hurt its reputation, while devastating the Arab world’s poorest country.
The “Riyadh agreement”, hailed as a stepping stone towards ending the wider conflict, would see the government return to Aden and place armed forces from both sides under the authority of the defence and interior ministries.