Houthi killing spree jeopardizes truce

Houthi killing spree jeopardizes truce
Updated 18 May 2015

Houthi killing spree jeopardizes truce

Houthi killing spree jeopardizes truce

SANAA: Fierce clashes between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and pro-government forces killed dozens across south Yemen on Saturday, threatening to derail a humanitarian cease-fire drawn up to bring vital aid to the war-wracked country.
In the latest violence, at least 12 civilians were killed and 51 wounded when the Houthis shelled several neighborhoods in Yemen’s third city of Taez, military and local sources said.
The clashes came after overnight fighting killed 26 Houthi rebels and militiamen loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh as well as 14 pro-government forces, military sources said.
Some aid has begun to trickle into Yemen since the pause in fighting, but residents of areas where clashes persist complain they remain without the most basic supplies. The fighting in Taez forced many to flee to the countryside.
“Humanitarian aid hasn’t reached Taez, where we haven’t received fuel, food or medical equipment,” said a government official in the city.
And in southern Daleh province, five Houthis were killed overnight when their convoy was ambushed, an official said.
Morocco’s armed forces, meanwhile, said they have located the body of one of their pilots downed over Yemen. A plane has been sent with DNA experts to identify the body of Yassine Bahti, whose F-16 was shot down Monday.
The Yemeni embassy in Riyadh held Saturday a press conference announcing a series of measures taken ahead of peace talks.
Abdul Aziz Jabari, the head of the committee preparing for the talks, said the dialogue would result in effective decisions that would be obligatory for all parties.


Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks

Updated 02 December 2020

Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks

Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks
  • President Michel Aoun was in Beirut for discussions with Lebanese leaders
  • The negotiations are the first non-security talks to be held between the two countries

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s president said Wednesday he wants maritime border talks with Israel to succeed and that disagreements during the last round of negotiations can be resolved based on international law.
President Michel Aoun spoke during a meeting with John Desrocher, the US mediator for the negotiations, who was in Beirut for discussions with Lebanese leaders.
The fourth round of talks, which was scheduled to take place Wednesday, was postponed until further notice, officials in the two countries said.
The negotiations are the first non-security talks to be held between the two countries, which have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war following decades of conflict. Resolving the border issue could pave the way for lucrative oil and gas deals on both sides.
Israel and Lebanon each claim about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea. During the second round of the talks the Lebanese delegation — a mix of army officers and experts — offered a new map that pushes for an additional 1,430 square kilometers (550 square miles).
Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in an interview with Army Radio last week that “the Lebanese presented positions that are a provocation,” but he added that all negotiations start with “excessive demands and provocations.”
“I hope that in a few months we’ll be able to reach a breakthrough,” he added.
A statement released by Aoun’s office quoted him as telling Desrocher that Lebanon wants the talks to succeed because “this will strengthen stability in the south and allow us to invest in natural resources of oil and gas.”
He said difficulties that surfaced during the last round can be solved through discussions based on the Law of the Sea. Aoun said if the talks stall then “other alternatives can be put forward,” without elaborating.
The last round of talks were held in November and hosted by the United Nations in a border post between the two countries.
Israel has already developed offshore natural gas rigs, producing enough for domestic consumption and export abroad. Lebanon hopes that its own oil and gas discoveries will help alleviate its long-running economic troubles.