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Delegation from Yemen separatists flies to Russia

January 31, 2021 at 3:32 pm

A fighter loyal to Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council (STC) separatists mans a turret mounted in the back of a pickup truck (technical) at the frontline during clashes with pro-government forces for control of Zinjibar, the capital of the southern Abyan province, on its eastern outskirts in the Sheikh Salim area, on May 15, 2020 [NABIL HASAN/AFP via Getty Images]

A high-level delegation from the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen flew to Moscow on Sunday for talks with Russian officials, Anadolu Agency reports.

The delegation, led by STC chairman Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, will hold talks with government officials and members of the Russian parliament on a host of files, the STC said in a statement, without elaborating.

The STC, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said the visit comes upon an invitation from the Russian government.

Formed in 2017, the STC controls large areas of southern Yemen, including the temporary capital Aden and Socotra province.

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However, the Yemeni Presidency announced on December 18, 2020 the formation of a new Yemeni government which included ministers nominated by the STC.

The new government was formed based on the Riyadh Agreement between the Yemeni government and the STC, which put an end to military clashes between forces of both parties.

Yemen has fallen into civil war in 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebels overran much of northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa. A year later, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen to roll back Houthi military gains.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the conflict in Yemen has so far claimed the lives of 233,000 people.