Yemen parties agree on transitional council, UN envoy says | News | DW | 20.02.2015
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Yemen parties agree on transitional council, UN envoy says

Rival factions in Yemen have agreed to create an interim governing council in a bid to overcome the country's political crisis. The parliament and the new assembly will make legislation guiding Yemen's transition.

"This progress is not a final agreement, but an important breakthrough that paves the way towards a comprehensive agreement," UN mediator Jamal Benomar said on Friday.

As part of the new deal, Yemen's old 301-member parliament, made up overwhelmingly of MPs from the former ruling party thought to be sympathetic to the Houthis, will stay in place.

Furthermore, instead of traditional upper house, a new transitional council, the size of which has not been defined, will be created and consist of members from traditionally unrepresented parts of society, including people from Yemen's formerly independent South, women and young people.

Arrangements for the vacated presidency and ministries along with security required further dialogue, Benomar added.

German embassy in Sanaa

German embassy in Sanaa

Nevertheless, there was no immediate comment from the Houthis or the two main Sunni Islamist and socialist opposition parties.

On February 6, the powerful Shiite Houthis dissolved parliament and instituted a provisional constitution.

Security in Yemen has been steadily unraveling since Houthis militia took control of the capital Sanaa in September and began imposing their demands on the government.

Several countries, including the United States, UK, Germany, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Turkey, have closed their embassies because of unrest in the country.

Yemen is one of the Arab world's poorest countries and a stronghold of an active al-Qaeda offshoot.

jil/sms (Reuters, dpa)

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