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US envoy, senior diplomat urge Yemeni government to unite

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - JULY 22: U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is greeted by Saudi Arabian Assistant Minister of Defense Mohammad Al-Ayesh, center, and U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Tim Lenderking, left, as he arrives on a E4-B military aircraft at King Abdulaziz International Airport on July 22, 2015 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Carter is meeting with Saudi King Salmon and other Saudi officials. (Photo by Carolyn Kaster - Pool/Getty Images)
US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Tim Lenderking (L) in 2015 with the Saudi Arabian Assistant Minister of Defense Mohammad Al-Ayesh (R) [Carolyn Kaster - Pool/Getty Images]

Yemen's internationally-recognised government must work to ensure internal disagreements are smoothed over, including with a key separatist movement, a senior US delegation told Yemeni officials on Monday.

US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, and Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy to Yemen, Cathy Westley, made the appeal during an exceptionally rare visit to Yemen, where they met with officials in Aden, the port city that has served as the government's seat even after it was seized by the Southern Transitional Council pro-independence group.

"The US delegation urged the Yemeni Government to continue to strengthen internal coordination, including with the Southern Transitional Council and other groups, as division weakens all parties and only exacerbates suffering," State Department spokesman, Ned Price, said in a statement.

READ: STC slams Yemen president over state oil company reshuffle

The Southern Transitional Council is a separatist movement in Yemen, backed by the United Arab Emirates.

"The US Government calls on regional and other countries to increase economic support for Yemen, noting that improving basic services and economic opportunity is an important step to building a stronger foundation for peace," added Price.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sana'a.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the government has worsened the situation and caused one of the world's worst man-made humanitarian crises, with 233,000 people killed, nearly 80 percent of the country in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.

Deaths in Yemen Conflict - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Deaths in Yemen Conflict – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Asia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUAEUSYemen
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