AFP
Last updated: 13 December, 2011

Saudi promises aid to Yemen

Saudi Arabia has promised to provide the newly formed government of unrest-hit Yemen with urgently needed aid, mainly petroleum products, Saba state news agency said on Tuesday.

King Abdullah has given instructions to provide “all the urgent needs of Yemen, especially petroleum products,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was quoted as saying in a phone call with Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawa.

The decision comes after the formation of a unity government on December 7, as stipulated in a Gulf-brokered accord that paves the way for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave office following months of deadly protests.

Saleh has handed over his constitutional powers to his deputy who asked the opposition to form a government.

The veteran leader, who has ruled Yemen with an iron fist for the past 33 years, will continue to serve as an honorary president until polls are held to elect his successor in February.

Nationwide demonstrations raging since January, combined with confrontations between government forces and Al-Qaeda militants, have exacerbated the dire economic conditions in the impoverished nation.

The southern Arabian Peninsula country produces 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil, of which it exports 105,000 bpd. But supplies have repeatedly been interrupted due to sabotage attacks.