The separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) on Tuesday warned against attempts to harm the flag of the south, as this would lead to an "escalation with uncontrollable results."
"The attempt to impair the south flag in Aden international airport and the resultant wide public congestion could bring about an escalation," the UAE-backed STC chairmanship said at an extraordinary meeting chaired by assistant secretary-general, Fadhel al-Ja'adi, in Aden.
"Flag of the south should be respected, as it has symbolic meaning for the people of the south and their sacrifices" including "liberation backed by the Arab coalition," according to the STC website.
"The flag continues to reflect the south unity," it added. Under this flag, "heroes of the south in Shabwa and Abyan have confronted the arrogance of invader troops."
Following its full seizure of the Yemeni official government's seat in Aden on August 10, the separatist STC's forces took control over sites and camps of the government in Abyan.
The Saudi-led coalition called then on the STC to withdraw its forces, and Riyadh called for talks that led to Riyadh Agreement.
At its Tuesday meeting, the STC stressed on the need for adhering to the deal's provisions "as a safe way out of the crisis."
On Monday, Aden airport's protection forces removed the flag, as part of arrangements for the prime minister's return to the port city under the Riyadh pact, but STC supporters raised the ensign again.
On 5 November, the Saudi-brokered Riyadh Agreement was inked by the Yemeni government and the STC in Riyadh.
The power-sharing deal provides for the government to return to Aden and the STC be given portfolios and its unofficial armed units integrated in defense and interior ministries.
However, observers see statements of the STC and its supporters as a herald of failed application of the pact, as its first step (the government return) has been delayed "for logistic reasons and security arrangements," according to sources close to the government.