LONDON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call with the president of the newly-formed Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi to congratulate him on his new position.
“We discussed maintaining the positive momentum in Yemen, including supporting the two-month truce and inclusive government reforms,” Blinken said in a tweet.
He was referring to an UN-brokered two-month truce between the internationally-recognized government and the Iran-backed Houthi militia that started on April 2, to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Blinken “reaffirmed US support for the ongoing truce and the opportunity to provide relief to Yemenis by easing the movement of people and goods, including fuel,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
The president and other members of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council on Tuesday took the oath of office before a rare session of the parliament in the southern port city of Aden.
The US minister also welcomed the gathering in Aden, which included representatives from the council, cabinet, house of representatives, and the shura council.
“The Secretary underscored the importance of an effective and transparent government that advances efforts to end the Yemeni conflict and protects human rights,” Price said, adding he also stressed the importance of opening roads to Taiz and other areas.
“The secretary underscored the need to seize the momentum from these positive developments to secure a lasting cease-fire and a comprehensive peace process,” Price said.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at an undisclosed location in Aden, the interim capital of Yemen, amid tightened security measures and was attended by the UN and US envoys to Yemen, EU and Gulf Cooperation Council ambassadors to Yemen and senior Yemeni officials.