Former Yemeni president, a staunch ally of Riyadh, has handed over his self-proclaimed powers to a newly established body, in what appears to be another sign of the failure of the Saudi-led war that began seven years ago with the main goal of reinstalling him by force.
A Thursday statement from Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi said he had delegated his powers to the "presidential leadership" council and dismissed vice president Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.
The council will assume the duties of the former president and his deputy, and will be in charge of political, military and security decisions during a "transitional period,” the statement added.
The measure was taken in line with a 2011 power transfer initiative devised by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The leadership council, made up of a chair and seven deputy chairmen, will be headed by Rashad Al-Alimi, a security official who was interior minister during the presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Saudi Arabia welcomes Hadi’s decision
Saudi Arabia welcomed Hadi’s decision, urging the presidential council to start negotiations with Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
The kingdom also said it would arrange $3 billion of support to Yemen’s economy, $2 billion would come from Riyadh and the rest from the UAE, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Calling for an international conference to help the Yemeni economy, Riyadh further announced that it would give $300 million to the United Nations aid response to the war-torn country's humanitarian crisis.
This is while the Saudi regime is widely blamed for the current humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, where about 80 percent of its 30 million population are in need of some form of aid for survival.
Hadi resigned from presidency in late 2014 and later fled to Riyadh amid a political conflict with the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
To reinstall Hadi, Saudi Arabia launched the bloody war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states.
The objective was also to crush the Ansarullah movement, which has since been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.
The war has stopped well shy of all of its goals, despite killing tens of thousands of Yemenis and turning entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Yemeni forces have continued to grow stronger in the face of the Saudi-led invaders, advancing toward strategic areas held by Saudi-led mercenaries, including Ma’rib province, and conducting several rounds of counterstrikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent months.
On Saturday, Yemen's warring parties laid down their weapons for a nationwide ceasefire brokered by the UN.
They agreed to observe the two-month truce, which took effect on the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.