UN envoy: International community committed to peace in Yemen

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. (AP file photo)
Updated 03 December 2016
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UN envoy: International community committed to peace in Yemen

ADEN: The UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on Friday confirmed the international community’s commitment and responsibility to achieving peace in Yemen based on the agreed-upon terms of reference of the Gulf initiative, the National Dialogue and UN Security Council resolutions.
Following his meeting with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Friday in Aden, Ahmed said the international community, the UN Security Council and 18 countries sponsoring peace efforts reconfirmed the legitimacy of Hadi and the government of Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Dagher.
The envoy said the meeting was “positive,” and included discussion of peace efforts and opportunities in Yemen.
Hadi said rebels were continuing their hostilities, and were not serious about achieving peace.
He presided over an extraordinary meeting of the government in Aden on Friday, attended by bin Dagher.
During the meeting, Hadi stressed the importance of merging efforts to defeat the rebels in all areas of Yemen, especially in Taiz.
“Battles of honor and perseverance continue in the face of invaders seeking to destroy the city and kill and displace the population,” said the president.
The official Yemeni News Agency reported that the meeting included discussion on issues related to the status of services, development and field work in Yemen in the face of the coup and Houthi militias.
Hadi touched on the government’s peace efforts as per the agreed-upon references of the Gulf initiative, the National Dialogue, and UN Security Council resolutions such as 2216.
He referred to “important” steps taken, namely that “the state has agreed to issue salaries of state employees in the civil and military sectors in the coming days.”
Mohammed Mousa Al-Ameri, advisor to the president, said the government was determined to proceed with military operations against the rebels, especially after they had rejected peace initiatives and recently formed their own government.
“There is no choice before Yemenis but to build a federal state and continue in the regional project that will allow all Yemenis to achieve and live in justice, quality, and resolution of their issues,” Ameri said during a meeting on Friday in Al-Baidaa province with leaders of the popular resistance.
Those leaders praised the role of the Arab coalition in standing by the legitimate government in order to restore the state and its institutions, and assisting the popular resistance in Al-Baidaa against the Houthi rebels.
Meanwhile, the coalition said 172 civilians were killed and several hundred injured, including women and children, in November by “indiscriminate and heavy shelling” by rebels targeting residential neighborhoods in Taiz.
The coalition added that dozens of homes, commercial and civilian establishments were partially or totally destroyed by rebel shelling.
It said schools, mosques, government buildings and health facilities were bombed, while 36 schools in Al-Salu in Taiz were shut down due to weeks of shelling and targeted attacks.
Water and electricity are still cut off in Taiz, and most health and medical facilities have been destroyed.
Aid organizations have still not reached Taiz since the partial lifting of the siege on the city from its western port in mid-August.
The coalition said 752 families had been forcefully displaced from their homes due to armed combat and indiscriminate shelling in the Taiz countryside.


Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

Updated 43 min 17 sec ago

Iran commemorates war with parade of tanks, missiles

  • Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities

JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia prepared to celebrate its National Day with entertainment events, firework displays and cultural events, Iran staged a military parade in Tehran on Sunday with tanks, missiles and armored vehicles.

President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian military leaders saluted as ranks of soldiers marched past them in tight unison, followed by an array of military hardware.

Among the weapons on display in the parade, held to mark the anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980, was an upgraded warhead for the Khorramshahr ballistic missile, said to have a range of 2,000km, and the Kaman 12 drone with a range of 1,000km. Speedboats and warships were shown in video footage on state TV.

Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of a Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on oil facilities in the east of the Kingdom. After the attack the Pentagon ordered US troops to reinforce Saudi air and missile defenses.

In a speech at Monday’s parade, Rouhani denounced the US presence. “Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region,” he said.

“If they’re sincere, then they should not make our region the site of an arms race.

“Their presence has always brought pain and misery ... the farther they keep themselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be.”

The US aims to avoid war with Iran and the additional troops are for “deterrence and defense,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

“If that deterrence should continue to fail, I am also confident that President Trump would continue to take the actions that are necessary,” he said.