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Arabic press review: Bouteflika 'to leave office within days'

Algeria's el-Khabar newspaper says appointment of new government was final step in preparations for president's exit
A protester sits in a wheelchair and wears a mask depicting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers on 29 March 2019 (Reuters)

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will be leaving office in the next two days, el-Khabar newspaper has reported, citing various sources.

The Algerian newspaper said that the announcement on Sunday of the formation of a new government was a crucial step before declaring the withdrawal of Bouteflika in order to avoid creating an administrative void at an institutional level.

The same sources also revealed that negotiations had started immediately after the Staff Command’s last statement, which concluded that the withdrawal and resignation of Bouteflika is the solution to the crisis.

The sources did not provide further details about the remaining terms of the agreement between the chief of staff and the presidency.

The paper said that it was still hard to predict how the public and the "popular movement" would react to Bouteflika's resignation and the announcement of transition mechanisms, as presidential elections are about to be held within three months.

New UAE military base in Yemen

Yemeni social website activists have circulated a video revealing that the United Arab Emirates has established a private port and a new military base on the Yemeni island of Socotra.

According to the video, the Emirati base is currently being built on an inlet located near the government's official port in Socotra.

The blogger who videotaped the location described it as a new UAE military base established in the region. Local sources revealed that Emirati forces had built a long wall with surveillance cameras and foreign guards supervised by UAE military staff.

Local sources said they had started filling a long stretch along the coast to establish their own port on the island because of the tight measures imposed on them at the official port of Hulaf, which is controlled by local authorities.

Yemeni reports asserted that the Emirati forces had been using their own port in the Yemeni city of Mukalla to transfer detainees and unknown items.

They also used the port to transport investigators interrogating Yemeni detainees being held in secret Emirati-controlled prisons, according to the reports.

With British help, Saudi Arabia launches a military jet

Saudi Arabia has manufactured the first military aircraft in the country for training purposes with the help of BAE Systems, a British military manufacturing company.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman participated in the aircraft’s launch ceremony, according to a report published by Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

The Saudi aircraft is the first Hawk jet-powered trainer aircraft to be assembled and manufactured at the King Abdulaziz Air Base.

The crown prince was briefed on the stages of assembly and manufacturing of the main parts of the Hawk aircraft, the checks carried out on the aircraft after its assembly and tests after its flight.

The Saudi-British Defence Cooperation Programme is being supported by BAE Systems which trains young Saudi people, with the participation of more than 25 Saudi companies, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.