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Saudi Arabia twice ‘trapped’ southern Yemen separatist leader

Image of Aidarous Al-Zubaidi [file photo]
Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, head of the UAE-backed South Transitional Council [file photo]

Ali Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, the self-proclaimed president of the new Southern Transitional Council in Yemen, a separatist group allegedly backed by a wealthy Arabian Gulf state, said he fell into a Saudi Arabian set “trap” twice, Egyptian news website Moheet reported.

Al-Zubaidi departed for Saudi Arabia last week for diplomatic meetings with Saudi officials. His secessionist movement is reportedly being backed by the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabian officials have ignored Al-Zubaidi and his newly appointed Vice President Hani Ben Breik – who was sacked as a state minister by Yemen’s internationally recognised president – and have not met with Yemeni leaders either, according to local sources.

Read: Saudi begins issuing visas to Yemenis

The announcement of the southern council looked like a “coup” in Yemen, according to Saudi state-run media.

Al-Zubaidi said the agreement to travel to Riyadh constrained political activities and the development of the newly formed council.

Meanwhile, sources reported that Al-Zubaidi wanted to enter into negotiations to return to his post of governor of Aden in return for dissolving his separatist movement, or appointing him to an equivalent ministerial post working under President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

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