Yemeni president creates new leadership council, moves his powers to it

(170329) — DEAD SEA, March 29, 2017 (Xinhua) — Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi (front) attends the 28th Arab League Summit at the Dead Sea, south of the capital Amman, Jordan, on March 29, 2017. The 28th ordinary Arab League Summit opened in Dead Sea, Jordan on Wednesday morning, with 15 state leaders from the 22 member states attending the meeting. (Xinhua/Meng Tao) (sxk)

RIYADH (RAHNUMA): Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi announced a new presidential leadership council on Thursday and transferred his powers to it.

The president, in a televised address, said the council was established to complete the implementation of the transition phase and will have the authority to negotiate with the Iran-backed Houthi militia to end the yearslong conflict afflicting the nation.

The changes sought to achieve the aspirations of Yemenis, preserve the society and stop the bloodshed, Hadi said.

Vice President Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar was removed from his position and the responsibilities of the post were reassigned to the new council.

The eight-member body, which will be headed by Rashad Al-Alimi, has the authority to manage the state politically, militarily and on the security front.

The council will be supported by a 50-member consultative body.

Al-Alimi was a former deputy premier of Yemen under the leadership of Ali Abdullah Saleh, and had previously served as the interior minister.

The council has the ability to announce a state of emergency if needed, according to a statement by the information minister, Muammar Al-Eryani.

Yemenis are currently holding talks in Riyadh to find a way to resolve the seven-year war in the country.

The Houthi militia, who seized the capital from the government in 2014, have refused to attend the discussions, which have been arranged by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

All sides of the conflict have agreed to adhere to a two-month truce.

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