Yemen foreign minister resigns amid differences over UN efforts

Khaled Al-Yamani took over the post in May 2018. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 10 June 2019
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Yemen foreign minister resigns amid differences over UN efforts

  • Khaled Al-Yamani was faulted by some government official for not criticizing the UN's special envoy
  • Yemeni president last month complained to the UN secretary-general that envoy Martin Griffiths was 'legitimising' the Houthi militants

ADEN: Yemen’s foreign minister has submitted his resignation as differences emerge within the internationally recognized government over the handling of a UN-led peace initiative in the main port city of Hodeidah, two ministry sources said Monday.

Khaled Al-Yamani, who took over the post in May 2018, said he would step down after some officials in the government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi faulted him for not criticizing United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths' performance.

The resignation needs to be accepted by Hadi, who last month complained in a letter to the UN secretary-general that Griffiths was “legitimising” the Houthi militants fighting against his government.

“He (Yamani) was expecting to be dismissed and so he submitted his resignation before that happens,” one source said.

Yamani could not immediately be reached for comment.

In his letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Hadi said Griffiths had failed to properly oversee the agreement for a ceasefire and troop withdrawal in Hodeidah, which became the focus of the war last year when the coalition tried to seize the Houthi-held Red Sea port.

The pact reached in December, the first significant breakthrough in peacemaking in over four years, had stalled for months until the Iran-aligned Houthis, who ousted Hadi from the capital Sanaa in late 2014, last month quit three ports in Hodeidah in a unilateral move.

The Houthis recently stepped up drone attacks on Saudi cities following a lull last year ahead of the December talks.

A UN official is expected to visit Saudi Arabia this week for talks with Saudi and Yemeni officials. Saudi Arabia is a member of the coalition of Arab countries providing military support to forces loyal to Hadi.


US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK release joint statement urging ‘diplomatic solutions’ on Iran

Updated 19 min 55 sec ago
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US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK release joint statement urging ‘diplomatic solutions’ on Iran

  • Statement released by the US on Monday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Saudi Arabian and Emirati leaders

ABU DHABI: The United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have jointly called for “diplomatic solutions” to ease soaring tensions with Iran.
“We call on Iran to halt any further actions which threaten regional stability, and urge diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions,” said the statement released by the US on Monday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Saudi Arabian and Emirati leaders.
The four countries renewed concern about an attack by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia and recent sabotage of ships which Washington blamed on Iran.
“These attacks threaten the international waterways that we all rely on for shipping. Ships and their crews must be allowed to pass through international waters safely,” the four countries said of the Gulf incidents.
“We further note with concern the recent escalation in Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia using Iranian made and facilitated missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. In particular, we condemn the Houthi attack on Abha civilian airport on 12 June, which injured 26 civilians.
“We express full support for Saudi Arabia and call for an immediate end to such attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis.”
The statement was released on the same day that US President Donald Trump imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif being taregted.

With Agencies