UN calls for next phase of Hodeidah agreement amid stalemate

UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths speaks at the UN Security Council on May 15, 2019, in New York. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 June 2019
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UN calls for next phase of Hodeidah agreement amid stalemate

  • The UN security council urged parties to implement Hodeidah agreement
  • They called for adherence to the ceasefire and the finalization of the prisoner exchange

 

DUBAI: Members of the United Nations Security Council issued a statement on Monday calling all parties to take the next necessary steps to implement the Hodeidah agreement.
Members called for “full adherence to the ceasefire” in Hodeidah governorate, “as well as the finalization of arrangements for the Prisoner Exchange Agreement and the statement of understanding on Taiz.”
A fragile ceasefire has been in place around the strategic port city of Hodeidah since the historic Stockholm Agreement was signed last December by the warring sides. The signing was seen as a crucial move towards a peace deal between the Iran-backed Houthi militia and the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.


Earlier on Monday, Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN Political and Peacebuilding Affairs chief, discussed with Hadi in Riyadh the efforts of Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths’ for the war-torn country as well as ways to advance the Stockholm accord and return to peace talks.
DiCarlo described the discussions as “productive” and thanked Hadi for his government’s commitment to the full implementation of the Stockholm Agreement.
After the meeting, Hadi said that he has received assurances from UN Secretary-General António Guterres that Griffiths would abide by implementing the Hodeidah deal in accordance with international resolutions and Yemeni law.
Since the signing of the agreement last year, the Houthi militia failed to honor the deal and refused to fully redeploy from Hodeidah to allow humanitarian aid to be redistributed to the 24 million in need.
The next briefing to the Security Council on Yemen is expected to take place on June 17.


Door will stay open to Palestinians despite Bahrain boycott, Kushner tells Arab News

Updated 26 June 2019
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Door will stay open to Palestinians despite Bahrain boycott, Kushner tells Arab News

  • Kushner said US President Donald Trump had delivered on his promises to everyone, and would deliver on his promise to Palestinians
  • Kushner says he has laid out a great framework in which Palestinians can engage 'if they want to make their people’s lives better'

MANAMA: The “Peace to Prosperity” conference in Bahrain was “a remarkable couple of days,” White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday as he was pressed by Israeli reporters demanding to know what consequences Palestinians would face for refusing to attend.
The conflict was a “solvable problem economically,” Kushner said. “The Palestinian people have been promised a lot of things over the years that have not come true, and I do want to show them that this is the plan, this is what could happen if there is a peace deal.”
Kushner said he planned to follow up with investors to secure the funding. “Once we have that, we will roll into the political plan but we will do it with a context of people having the opportunity to digest what is possible.” It was a “constant theme” during the conference “that this is actually very doable,” he said.
Kushner’s press secretary controlled who could ask questions. He said he would only allow four, and called Israeli journalists from i24 Israeli TV and The Times of Israel.  When the press secretary waved me away, I asked if he would take a question from the only Palestinian reporter present, writing for Arab News. Kushner said: “Yes.”
I asked if he was going to close the door or leave it open to the Palestinians as his vision for economic peace moved forward.
“If they actually want to make their people’s lives better, we have now laid out a great framework in which they can engage and try to achieve it,” Kushner replied.
“We have left the door open the whole time. One thing you have seen with me is I tend not to get emotional about transactions at the end of the day, I understand people have their domestic politics and people have different ways of reacting.

“I think what you have seen from us is that we have been very respectful, very straightforward. We have been very deliberate. We take actions, not weighing the
political consequences. We have been weighing what is right and wrong.”
Kushner said US President Donald Trump had delivered on his promises to everyone, and would deliver on his promise to Palestinians.
“President Trump has said he wants to help the Palestinians achieve a better future for themselves, and I hope they will take it very seriously that he has been trying to do that. Hopefully what you have seen in the last couple of days shows there has been a lot of effort on a very high level, a lot of resources devoted to it.
“We are going to keep moving forward and we will put out our political plan at the right time. I do think that one of the things from today is that it will be very hard for people to go back to looking at this through a traditional lens. I do think that hopefully we have helped people look at it a little bit differently, and that is one of our goals.”