March 3-8: Hadi calls for talks in Riyadh, foreign missions to Aden

Over the last week, political negotiations between Ansar Allah and Yemen’s other political parties once again dominated local headlines. President ‘Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi—having established himself in Aden after escaping from house arrest in Sanʻa—has proposed the Saudi capital of Riyadh as a possible venue for resuming the UN-led talks, which are aimed at breaking out of the long-standing political stalemate in the country. But those talks have reportedly continued in the capital without Hadi. The GPC and the Houthis were said to have agreed to form a presidential council, though UN special envoy to Jamal Benomar denied such reports. 

After Hadi called on the Arab and Western diplomatic missions to relocate to Aden, the Saudi and Emirati embassies resumed their operations while the US embassy announced it will be working from the port city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The new UK envoy, who has met with Hadi in Aden and handed in his credentials, said his embassy will not relocate to Aden.

Politically isolated as more than a dozen diplomatic missions pulled out of Sanʻa, the Houthis are reportedly seeking to increase engagement with Iran and to establish ties with Russia. Houthi forces were also reported to have stormed the Headquarters of the National Dialogue Conference General Secretariat in the capital.

In his provisional capital, Aden, President Hadi reportedly called for international aid money to be sent to Aden’s branch of the Yemen Central Bank. According to local observers, any such disruption would be “disastrous” if taken, as this poor Arab nation has been depending on foreign aid for years now.