British minister urges implementation of Stockholm Agreement on Yemen during Gulf tour

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt shakes Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah’s hand on Mar. 1,2019 in Muscat, Oman. (Photo courtesy: Social media)
Updated 01 March 2019
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British minister urges implementation of Stockholm Agreement on Yemen during Gulf tour

  • Hunt visited Muscat on Friday where he signed a joint declaration on UK-Omani relations
  • He will also visit Saudi Arabia where he will address a global conference on patient safety, and the UAE

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will meet Yemeni government officials and Houthi leaders during a trip to the Gulf region to urge the immediate implementation of the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement.
Hunt visited Muscat on Friday where he signed a joint declaration on UK-Omani relations and met Houthi militia spokesman Mohamed Abdul Salem.
He will also visit Saudi Arabia where he will address a global conference on patient safety, and the UAE.
Hunt said his “aim is to build on the UN-backed agreement reached in Stockholm in December,” and that he will “urge all sides to accelerate the redeployments they agreed at Stockholm and ensure the flow of humanitarian relief.”
British Ambassador to Yemen Michael Aron said Hunt’s tour is “very important,” and that progress should be made in the coming days.
He told Arab News this week that the international community will react strongly if the Houthis put the peace process at risk.
“It’s no coincidence that the number of people in need of aid, now at a staggering 24 million, has increased enormously since the Houthis took over parts of the country,” he said.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat published on Friday, Aron also praised the outcomes of the donor conference held for Yemen in Geneva, and said it was a great success for humanitarian relief.
The ambassador added that the Geneva conference “showed that the international community cares about the humanitarian situation in Yemen.”
The British ambassador said that the UN regaining access to a grains facility near Yemen’s Hodeidah port on Tuesday was a positive step.


Arab League chief warns no Middle East peace deal without Palestinian state

Updated 7 min 12 sec ago
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Arab League chief warns no Middle East peace deal without Palestinian state

  • US-led conference will be held next week in Bahrain on proposals for the Palestinian economy
  • The Palestinian leadership is boycotting the conference

CAIRO: The head of the Arab League warned Monday that attempts to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict will be in vain without the establishment of a Palestinian state on all territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit’s comments appeared directed at a still unpublished peace plan that Donald Trump has dubbed the “deal of the century.” As part of the plan, a US-led conference will be held next week in Bahrain on proposals for the Palestinian economy.
The Palestinian leadership is boycotting the conference, saying Trump’s peace plan is likely to be heavily weighted in favor of Israel and to quash their aspirations for statehood in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
While the precise outlines of the draft plan have yet to be revealed, Palestinian and Arab sources who have been briefed on it say it jettisons the two-state solution.
“Whatever is rejected by the Palestinian or the Arab side is unacceptable,” Aboul Gheit said during an event at the Arab League.
“What is acceptable from our side as Arabs as a solution is the establishment of a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.
Aboul Gheit said that Israel’s acceptance of an Arab Peace Initiative drawn up by Saudi Arabia in 2002, which offers Israel normal ties in return for withdrawal from territory captured in 1967, was the only acceptable solution for Arab states.
“If (Israel) chooses the only reasonable and accepted way from our side as Arabs, which is the establishment of a Palestinian state ... it will be accepted in the region as a normal regional partner,” he said.
Last week, a White House official said Egypt, Jordan and Morocco planned to attend the Bahrain conference.
Palestinians urged Egypt and Jordan to reconsider their attendance at the US-led conference in Bahrain, voicing concern it would weaken any Arab opposition to Washington’s coming peace plan.