The Saudi crown prince calls the deal a decisive step towards a political solution aimed at ending the bloody war in Yemen. The agreement provides for the formation of a new technocratic government with no more than 24 ministers. The stalemate in the peace deal was signed last year between the Yemeni government and southern separatists in the Saudi capital. Peter Salisbury, a Yemen expert at Crisis International Group, a Brussels-based think tank, said the deal solved two short-term problems – if it could be successfully implemented. The deal will lead to a reshuffle of the government in order to involve separatist separatists on an equal footing and their forces will be placed under government control. Catherine Shakdam, a former UN Security Council adviser on Yemen, told Al Jazeera that Tuesday`s deal was “very important.” The deal aims to bridge a gap between the Saudi-backed government and emirati-backed rebels so they can focus on fighting the Iranian-backed Houthis. The ceasefire between Yemeni Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in the port city of Hodeidah came into effect on December 18. The agreement was reached during UN mediation talks in Stockholm earlier this month. At the time of the negotiations, the city was almost in the hands of the Saudi-led coalition.
The coalition had blocked the port, Yemen`s main humanitarian aid channel, for months, and fighters, mostly soldiers from the United Arab Emirates, were battling the rebels. But Saudi Arabia has come under increased global pressure to stop fighting in Yemen, after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate sparked a global outcry. The spotlight on Yemen and its deteriorating humanitarian situation was so strong after the Khashoggi affair that even the United States, which supports Riyadh in the war, reduced its participation by ending the refueling of coalition aircraft. Given that the UN has also insisted that talks be set up, the Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia, has given the green light to talks. Peace negotiations negotiated by companies united between the rebels and the government have not resulted in an agreement, he said. . . .