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Wednesday April 17, 2024

Yemen government names top diplomat as new premier

It did not give a reason for the move

By AFP
February 06, 2024
A Yemeni flag waves in the city of Taez. — AFP
A Yemeni flag waves in the city of Taez. — AFP

DUBAI: Yemen´s internationally-recognised government on Monday named foreign minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak as the new prime minister in a surprise appointment that analysts say will likely anger the country´s Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

Bin Mubarak replaces Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed at a time of rising tensions in the Arabian Peninsula´s poorest country following a spate of Red Sea attacks by Huthi rebels which have prompted retaliatory strikes by the Unites States and Britain.

A decree issued by Yemen´s presidential council and carried by the official Saba news agency announced bin Mubarak´s appointment as premier and assigned the outgoing prime minister to the post of presidential advisor.

It did not give a reason for the move.

Bin Mubarak, Yemen´s former ambassador to the US, is widely seen as a staunch adversary of the Huthi rebels, who abducted him in 2015 and held him captive for several days.

He previously served as chief of staff of Yemen´s presidential office and was also appointed as the country´s envoy to the United Nations in 2018.

Mohammed Al-Basha, a Yemen expert for the US-based Navanti research group, said bin Mubarak is seen as one of the “architects of the Saudi-led coalition” that intervened against Huthis in 2015 to prop up the internationally-recognised government, a year after the rebels captured the capital Sanaa.