President urges end to ‘blood-letting in Yemen’

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’

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’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.