UK’s Hunt says Yemen peace deal is now ‘in last chance saloon’

The Stockholm Agreement is now in “last chance saloon,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement during a visit to Yemen on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 04 March 2019
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UK’s Hunt says Yemen peace deal is now ‘in last chance saloon’

  • Hunt's visit to Yemen is part of his trip to the Gulf region to urge the immediate implementation of the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement
  • He had met with Yemeni President Mansour Hadi, a Houthi militia leader and Saudi Arabian top diplomats

LONDON: The Stockholm Agreement is now in “last chance saloon,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement during a visit to Yemen on Sunday.    

"The process could be dead within weeks if we do not see both sides sticking to their commitments in Stockholm."

The British foreign secretary held talks with his Yemeni counterpart in government-held Aden on Sunday, in the first visit by a western foreign minister to the war-torn country in years.
"I am here because this is really the last chance for peace," Hunt said from Aden, in a video uploaded to his Twitter account.

They discussed an agreement on a ceasefire and prisoner exchange between the warring sides, brokered by the United Nations at talks in Sweden in December, the state news agency Saba said.

 

Hunt's visit to Yemen is part of his trip to the Gulf region to urge the immediate implementation of the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement. 

The foreign secretary added that a peace process in Yemen’s main port city “could be dead within weeks” without more committed effort from both sides.
The agreement to implement a troop withdrawal in Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions facing famine, by Jan. 7 was intended to clear the way for wider negotiations to end the four-year war but progress has been slow.

On Saturday, the foreign secretary met with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir in Riyadh. 

Hunt said that he and Al-Jubeir agreed that progress on the agreement was “overdue,” and that it is “vital for Hodeidah to be cleared of militia urgently” so that a humanitarian corridor can be opened.

He also met Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Riyadh earlier on Saturday, and Houthi militia spokesman Mohamed Abdul Salem on Friday. 


How a Qatari financier helped blacklisted terrorists by using UN loopholes

Updated 6 min 11 sec ago
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How a Qatari financier helped blacklisted terrorists by using UN loopholes

  • UN officials accuse countries such as Qatar of not sufficiently monitoring blacklisted terrorists living within its borders
  • The UN has publicly alleged that a series of disclosures showed Al-Subaiy, a former Qatar central-bank official, continuing to finance terrorists and their activities through 2013

DUBAI: Lenient monitoring and loopholes within the United Nations’ Security Council sanctions procedures have allowed blacklisted terrorists with Al-Qaeda and Daesh gain access to frozen bank accounts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Among those sanctioned, but gaining access to their accounts, is Qatari financier Khalifa al-Subaiy, who the US says provided significant financial support to Al-Qaeda and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Al-Subaiy, who was added to the UN terror blacklist in 2008, has been withdrawing funds up to $10,000 from frozen accounts for “basic necessities.” Home countries of blacklisted individuals apply for UN exemptions to sanctions that allow access to small amounts of money in order to pay for living expenses and food.

However, the exemptions procedure is “too loosely structured and lacks oversight,” the report added.

UN officials accuse countries such as Qatar of not sufficiently monitoring blacklisted terrorists living within its borders.

“Exemptions are granted to virtually anyone who asks and for amounts that are sometimes seen as unjustifiably large; requests don't adequately detail needs as required; and there are no spending audits,” the report by the WSJ read.

The UN has publicly alleged that a series of disclosures showed Al-Subaiy, a former Qatar central-bank official, continuing to finance terrorists and their activities through 2013.

“I would be hard-pressed to find someone more prominent than him in the whole terrorism financing side,” said Hans-Jakob Schindler, a senior director at the Counter Extremism Project and former adviser to the UN Security Council, told WSJ.