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Yemen govt agrees to UN Hodeidah plan, Houthis skeptical

Yemeni elementary pupils study in a make-shift classroom in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah after their school was damaged in the country's ongoing conflict between the Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels. The UN Security Council on Saturday urged the warring parties to agree on a UN-brokered plan to keep the port of Hodeidah out of the fighting and to resume government salary payments. (AFP file photo)
CAIRO: Yemen’s Saudi-backed government said on Saturday it agreed to a two-point plan advanced by the UN to ease suffering in the country’s civil war, but the Iran-aligned Houthi movement remained skeptical.
On Thursday, the UN Security Council urged the warring parties to agree on a UN-brokered plan to keep the Houthi-held port of Hodeidah out of the fighting and to resume government salary payments.
The UN has proposed that Hodeidah, a vital aid delivery point on the Red Sea where some 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports arrive, should be turned over to a neutral party.
The Security Council warned the Arab coalition that is fighting the Houthis against any attempt to extend the war to the port.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek Al-Mekhlafi said in a tweet his government renewed its acceptance of the proposals first made by UN envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in May.
But a spokesperson for the Houthis alleged that the Security Council through its statements was encouraging the Saudi-led alliance to resume its strikes and that they reserved the right to respond to any aggression.
Yemen has been torn apart by more than two years of civil war that pits the Houthi group against the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which is backed by the Saudi-led alliance.
More than 10,000 people have died in the conflict.
The coalition has accused the Houthis of using Hodeidah to smuggle in weapons and ammunition and has called for UN monitors to be posted there. The Houthi movement denies the allegations.
Thousands of Yemeni state workers are also facing destitution as their salaries have gone largely unpaid for several months after the internationally-recognized government shifted Yemen’s central bank to Aden from Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis.
Cheikh Ahmed had told the Security Council on May 30 that he had proposed a deal to avoid military clashes in Hodeidah to be negotiated in parallel with an agreement to resume civil service salary payments nationally.
However, he noted the Houthis and the allied General People’s Congress, the party of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, would not meet with him.
CAIRO: Yemen’s Saudi-backed government said on Saturday it agreed to a two-point plan advanced by the UN to ease suffering in the country’s civil war, but the Iran-aligned Houthi movement remained skeptical.
On Thursday, the UN Security Council urged the warring parties to agree on a UN-brokered plan to keep the Houthi-held port of Hodeidah out of the fighting and to resume government salary payments.
The UN has proposed that Hodeidah, a vital aid delivery point on the Red Sea where some 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports arrive, should be turned over to a neutral party.
The Security Council warned the Arab coalition that is fighting the Houthis against any attempt to extend the war to the port.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek Al-Mekhlafi said in a tweet his government renewed its acceptance of the proposals first made by UN envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in May.
But a spokesperson for the Houthis alleged that the Security Council through its statements was encouraging the Saudi-led alliance to resume its strikes and that they reserved the right to respond to any aggression.
Yemen has been torn apart by more than two years of civil war that pits the Houthi group against the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which is backed by the Saudi-led alliance.
More than 10,000 people have died in the conflict.
The coalition has accused the Houthis of using Hodeidah to smuggle in weapons and ammunition and has called for UN monitors to be posted there. The Houthi movement denies the allegations.
Thousands of Yemeni state workers are also facing destitution as their salaries have gone largely unpaid for several months after the internationally-recognized government shifted Yemen’s central bank to Aden from Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis.
Cheikh Ahmed had told the Security Council on May 30 that he had proposed a deal to avoid military clashes in Hodeidah to be negotiated in parallel with an agreement to resume civil service salary payments nationally.
However, he noted the Houthis and the allied General People’s Congress, the party of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, would not meet with him.

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