UAE welcomes ‘early convening’ of UN-led Yemen talks in Sweden

Yemeni pro-government forces gather at a checkpoint in a street on the eastern outskirts of Hodeidah. (AFP)
Updated 15 November 2018

UAE welcomes ‘early convening’ of UN-led Yemen talks in Sweden

  • The UN said it planned to reconvene peace talks in Sweden by the end of the year
  • Fighting intensified this month around the crucial port of Hodeidah, but died off in recent days

JEDDAH: UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Wednesday the Emirates welcomes the early convening of UN-led Yemen talks in Sweden. 

The UAE along with Saudi Arabia is a leading member of the Arab Coalition supporting pro-government troops in the war against the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

The UN said it planned to reconvene peace talks in Sweden by the end of the year. The last attempt in Geneva collapsed when the Houthi delegation failed to arrive. 

"We welcome early convening of UN-led talks in Sweden," Gargash, tweeted. He said the coalition would "urge all parties to take advantage of window of opportunity to restart the political process" at a UN Security Council meeting on Friday.

"We look forward to hosting (UN Yemen envoy) Martin Griffiths this week in Abu Dhabi," Gargash added.

Fighting intensified this month around the crucial port of Hodeidah, which has been helf by the Houthis since they triggered the war in 2014 by seizing control of the capital Sanaa. The fighting has died down in recent days amid a flurry of diplomacy to bring a ceasefire to the city.


Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

HIGHLIGHT

Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 

 

Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.