In a major political shake-up that took place as efforts to end the country’s years-long war gained traction with a fragile two-month truce, Yemen’s exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has transferred his powers to a new presidential council.
Hadi said in a televised statement early on Thursday that he delegated his powers to a new presidential leadership council. The statement came on the final day of peace talks held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, which has been leading a military coalition backing Yemen’s internationally recognized government against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The council would be tasked with negotiating with the Houthi rebels “for a permanent ceasefire,” Hadi added.
Hadi also sacked Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a powerful military figure, and delegated al-Ahmar’s powers to the presidential council.
Following the announcement, Saudi Arabia announced that it was arranging $3 billion to support Yemen’s war-ravaged economy, $2 billion of which would come from Riyadh while $1 billion would be provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
An adviser to Hadi and former interior minister with the government of late President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Rashad al-Alimi will chair the new presidential council.