Yemeni government confirms its commitment to ceasefire in accordance with Sweden talks

The Houthi militia “continues to systematically violate the ceasefire agreement in Hodeidah.” (AFP)
Updated 07 January 2019
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Yemeni government confirms its commitment to ceasefire in accordance with Sweden talks

  • The Houthi militia “continues to systematically violate the ceasefire agreement in Hodeidah.”
  • The Yemeni official said the international community, especially the sponsors of the peace process in Yemen, should send clear and firm messages to the militia to stop violations

DUBAI: The Yemeni government has confirmed its commitment to the ceasefire while working to implement what was agreed in Sweden’s peace talks, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad al-Hadrami said in a meeting in Riyadh with China's ambassador to Yemen that the Houthi militia “continues to systematically violate the ceasefire agreement in Hodeidah.”

The Yemeni official said the international community, especially the sponsors of the peace process in Yemen, should send clear and firm messages to the militia to stop violations against civilians and creating obstructions to peace efforts.

Later the same day, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi ordered reinforcements be sent to the frontlines in the fight against the Houthis in the region, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

The order came during a meeting in Riyadh with Defense Minister Lieutenant General Mohammad al-Maqdashi.


Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between US and Iran

Updated 20 min ago
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Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between US and Iran

  • ‘We are trying to help and to be mediators’
  • The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s withdrawal last year of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers

BAGHDAD: Iraq offered to mediate in the crisis between its two key allies, the United States and Iran, amid escalating Middle East tensions and as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers steadily unravels.
Iraqi foreign minister, Mohammed Al-Hakim, made the offer Sunday during a joint news conference in Baghdad with visiting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“We are trying to help and to be mediators,” said Al-Hakim, adding that Baghdad “will work to reach a satisfactory solution” while stressing that Iraq stands against unilateral steps taken by Washington.
In recent weeks, tensions between Washington and Tehran soared over America deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Arabian Gulf over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.
The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s withdrawal last year of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that capped Iran’s uranium enrichment activities in return to lifting sanctions. Washington subsequently re-imposed sanctions on Iran, sending its economy into freefall.
Trump has argued that the deal failed to sufficiently curb Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons or halt its support for militias throughout the Middle East that the US says destabilize the region, as well as address the issue of Tehran’s missiles, which can reach both US regional bases and Israel.
Zarif, who was been on a whirlwind diplomatic offensive to preserve the rest of the accord, insisted that Iran “did not violate the nuclear deal” and urged European nations to exert efforts to preserve the deal following the US pullout.
Speaking about the rising tensions with the US, Zarif said Iran will be able to “face the war, whether it is economic or military through steadfastness and its forces.” He also urged for a non-aggression agreement between Iran and Arab countries in the Gulf.
The mediation offer by Al-Hakim, Iraq’s foreign minister, echoed one made Saturday by Mohamad Al-Halbousi, the Iraqi parliament speaker. Al-Hakim also expressed concern for Iran’s spiraling economy.
“The sanctions against sisterly Iran are ineffective and we stand by its side,” Al-Hakim said.