President urges end to ‘blood-letting in Yemen’

President of Yemen Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi speaks at the UNGA on Sept. 24, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 24 September 2020

President urges end to ‘blood-letting in Yemen’

  • Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said that the Houthis have taken state institutions hostage
  • “We are trying to save our country and establish a just and lasting peace. The objective is to stop the blood-letting in Yemen,” he said

LONDON: The Iran-backed Houthi militia must stop blocking much-needed aid and UN access to the Safer tanker, Yemen’s president said on Thursday.
The abandoned tanker has been stranded off Yemen’s Red Sea oil terminal of Ras Issa for more than five years and risks causing massive environmental damage.
Speaking at the 75th UN General Assembly, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said that the Houthis have taken state institutions hostage, “smothered liberty, blown up schools and places of faith, persecuted citizens and transformed Sanaa into a prison.”
He added: “We are trying to save our country and establish a just and lasting peace. The objective is to stop the blood-letting in Yemen.”
Efforts made by the Arab coalition and the UN to establish peace have fallen “face down” because of the Houthis and “their sponsors the Iranian regime,” the president said.
He condemned the Houthis for targeting civilians and residential infrastructure in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The president urged the international community to exert active and determined pressure on the Houthis so that they respect UN Security Council resolutions.
Hadi also thanked all donor countries and organizations for their aid and support.


Lebanon, Israel end second round of maritime border talks

Updated 29 October 2020

Lebanon, Israel end second round of maritime border talks

  • The delegations met for around four hours for a second day straight at a base of the UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in the Lebanese border town of Naqura
  • The talks have been shrouded in secrecy, with little information emerging about any progress being made

NAQURA: Lebanon and Israel, still technically at war, wrapped up a second round of maritime border talks Thursday under UN and US auspices to allow for offshore energy exploration.
The delegations met for around four hours for a second day straight at a base of the UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in the Lebanese border town of Naqura, Lebanon's National News Agency and Israel's energy ministry said.
The talks have been shrouded in secrecy, with little information emerging about any progress being made.
"At the end it was determined that another round of talks will take place during the coming month," the Israeli energy ministry said.
A Lebanese source close to the negotiations said they would resume on November 11.
A first round of talks had been held on October 14, and the second had started on Wednesday.
After years of quiet US shuttle diplomacy, Lebanon and Israel this month said they had agreed to begin the negotiations in what Washington hailed as a "historic" agreement.
The announcement came weeks after Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab nations to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
But Lebanon has insisted the negotiations are purely technical and do not involve any political normalisation with Israel.
Lebanon, reeling from its worst economic crisis in decades, is hoping to settle the maritime border dispute so it can continue exploring for hydrocarbon reserves in the Mediterranean.
Exploration is on hold in an area off its coast named Block 9, as a section of it is located in an 860-square-kilometre (330-square-mile) area claimed by both Israel and Lebanon.
NNA said the Lebanese delegation carried with it "maps and documents showing the points of contention and the Israeli enemy infringing on the Lebanese right to include part of Block 9".
In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first contract for offshore drilling for oil and gas in Block 9 and Block 4 with a consortium comprising energy giants Total, ENI and Novatek.
Lebanon in April said initial drilling in Block 4 had shown traces of gas but no commercially viable reserves.
While the US-brokered talks look at the maritime border, a UNIFIL-sponsored track is also due to address outstanding land border disputes.
UNIFIL head Major General Stefano Del Col welcomed Tuesday what he called "a unique opportunity to make substantial progress on contentious issues along" the land frontier.