Yemen’s prime minister, Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, arrived in the interim capital Aden from the Saudi capital on 18 November.

His return follows the Riyadh power-sharing agreement between the government of Yemen and the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), who had chased the government out of the capital.

Fighters of the STC last August seized control of Aden, which had become the seat of government, after it was driven out of Yemen’s capital Sanaa in 2014 by Houthi rebels. The government and the STC are allies in the fight against the Houthis.

The European Union welcomed the move, calling it an “essential first step in implementing the Riyadh Agreement”, and expressed its expectation for all stakeholders to “abide to the terms of the Agreement and display sincere collaboration on the ground to ensure its smooth and timely implementation”.

“The European Union will continue to deepen its bilateral co-operation with the Government of Yemen and lend its full support the UN Special Envoy in this regard”, the Union stated.

The government’s return to Aden also laid the foundation for forming a new 24-member cabinet with equal representation for southerners, including the STC.