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Rival presidents congratulate Yemen on its Independence Day

Thousands of Yemenis wave their national flag as they sit under a huge portrait of President Ali Abdullah Saleh during National Day celebrations at Sanaa's main stadium on April 24, 2010 [MOHAMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images]
Thousands of Yemenis wave their national flag as they sit under a huge portrait of President Ali Abdullah Saleh during National Day celebrations at Sanaa's main stadium on April 24, 2010 [MOHAMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images]

The presidents of Yemen's rival governments have both conveyed their congratulations to the republic as it celebrates its independence day today which marks the withdrawal of the British from the former protectorate of South Arabia in 1967.

The internationally-recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi yesterday called for the implementation of the power sharing deal, the Riyadh Agreement between his Saudi-backed government and the UAE-supported separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) which has so far remained unfulfilled.

While congratulating his country, President Hadi said: "From this vision, we also went on the path of healing the Yemeni rift and attempts to unify the national ranks in order to restore and build the state and its national institutions and unify efforts around this noble goal, so we went to the Riyadh Agreement sponsored by Saudi Arabia."

He also stressed that there is no alternative to the federal state and the efforts in working to end what he called the "coup" and "rebellion" of the Sanaa-based government which is currently only recognised by Iran and Syria.

READ: Yemen's Houthis allow UN mission to inspect decaying tanker

President of the Supreme Political Council of the Houthi-led National Salvation Government (NSG), Mahdi Al-Mashat, also congratulated all Yemenis, the tribes and the army and "popular committees" on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of Independence Day.

Al-Mashat said: "We and all honourable people have the right to celebrate this glorious occasion because, thank God, we are in the same trench that where our fathers were against foreign colonialism."

"Independence Day offers the lesson to the aggressor of our country and puts it in front of the woes of this war, as well as it depicts the final scene for every mercenary," he said.

He also called for an end to the aggression and occupation of Yemen and explained that one of the characteristics of Independence Day is that it distinguishes between true patriotism to expose traitors and agents.

"Traitors and agents cannot celebrate this day without turning into a mockery and a scandal, and they have brought on their backs the smallest occupier in history," he added.

"We affirm our keenness on a just and realistic peace that guarantees the cessation of the aggression, the lifting of the blockade, control of resources, the resumption of the disbursement of salaries and the total release of prisoners."

READ: Yemen's Houthi govt calls on southerners to resist Saudi-UAE occupation

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