Yemen leader rejects UN peace deal, denounces Houthi demands

Yemen leader rejects UN peace deal, denounces Houthi demands
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 13 October 2020

Yemen leader rejects UN peace deal, denounces Houthi demands

Yemen leader rejects UN peace deal, denounces Houthi demands
  • The Security Council Resolution 2216 recognizes the Hadi-led government’s authority over Yemen

AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi rejected a peace proposal presented by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths on Monday.

According to a government official, the proposal fell outside the agreed framework to achieve peace in the country.

The internationally recognized Yemeni government will only support peace initiatives that comply with the GCC Initiative, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and UN Security Council Resolution 2216, official sources told Arab News on Tuesday.

The Security Council Resolution 2216 recognizes the Hadi-led government’s authority over Yemen and requires the Iran-backed Houthis to disarm and abandon territory under their control.

Despite Hadi’s rejection of the agreement, a report in SABA, Yemen’s official news agency, said the leader still fully supported Griffith’s efforts to broker a peace deal.

The report added that the government had already offered many concessions to the Houthis to reach an amicable solution.

Hadi also accused Iran-backed militias of violating the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement through growing military activity in the western province of Hodeidah.

Another senior government official told Arab News that Hadi rejected two Houthi demands included in the Joint Declaration presented by Griffiths — maintaining control of an oil pipeline from the central city of Marib to the western city of Hodeidah and exempting aircraft departing from Houthi-controlled airports from inspections.

“Instead of agreeing to emptying the decaying Safer oil tanker, the Houthis demanded the resumption of oil pumping to the same facility,” the official said.

On Tuesday, the UN envoy said on Twitter: “Last evening, I met with President Hadi. We discussed the UN efforts to mediate a resolution to the conflict in Yemen, and exchanged views on the draft of the Joint Declaration.”

In recent months, the UN envoy has urged Yemen’s warring parties to accept the Joint Declaration, a peace proposal that requires the internationally recognized government and Iran-backed Houthis to enter a nationwide truce and introduce humanitarian and economic measures to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

After halting hostilities, both parties can engage in direct peace talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive peace settlement. The two parties on Sept. 10 received a revised draft of the Joint Declaration that included their comments, edits and suggestions, Griffiths said.

Yemeni parliament speaker Sultan Al-Barakani told Griffiths in Riyadh on Monday that the UN’s tolerance of the Houthis has encouraged them to violate truces and agreements, shell cities, target Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles and drones and reject warnings about the decaying Safer tanker, SABA reported.

Yemen’s Vice President Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmer also repeated the government’s demands to include the three requirements in peace proposals.

Al-Ahmer told outgoing French Ambassador to Yemen Christian Tiesto in Riyadh that the Yemeni government will only support peace deals that follow the agreed framework.

Yasser Al-Yafae, an Aden-based political analyst, told Arab News that the government should avoid taking a tough stance on the three requirements because the Yemen conflict has “produced new powerful forces that oppose the framework.”

He said: “Since 2015, the war has produced a new reality as the Houthi movement has gained control over large areas in northern Yemen and is expanding. The Southern Transitional Council that appeared in 2017 controls important parts in the south. Insisting on the references means continuing the war.”

Fierce fighting

Fighting intensified on Monday and Tuesday in almost all major battlefields in northern, western and southern Yemen.

On Tuesday, local army officers told Arab News that heavy mortar, canon and katyusha shelling on residential areas in the southern city of Taiz killed five civilians and wounded many others.

Abdul Basit Al-Baher, a Yemeni army spokesman in Taiz, said that army troops exchanged heavy fire with Houthi fighters.

“The army troops responded to the Houthi shelling, targeting the source of the fire. They have mobilized a huge number of forces and targeted Taiz with all kinds of heavy weapons,” Al-Baher said.

In the northern province of Jouf, army commanders said that Arab coalition warplanes hit a convoy of Houthi military vehicles, killing several militants, including a senior field commander.

Another Houthi military leader, Col. Sultan Abdul Kareem, was killed along with five associates in fighting with government forces in Jouf’s Beir Al-Mazareq area.

On Monday, hundreds of Houthis in Sanaa attended the funeral of Mohammed Yahiya Al-Houri, a field military commander who was killed in fighting with government forces in the western province of Hodeidah earlier this week.


UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
Updated 19 January 2021

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
  • The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areasboth sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas

DUBAI: The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and ways of ensuring security and stability in the region with his Cypriot counterpart on Monday,.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan reviewed the prospects of advancing relations with Cyprus in a meeting in Abu Dhabi with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of enhancing international cooperation to ensure fair and equitable access to the vaccine for every country in the world.
Christodoulides praised the UAE’s significant overall efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the efficiency of its adopted measures in mitigating the economic and social effects of the crisis.
During his visit to the UAE, the Cypriot minister also met with the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), Saqr Ghobash, accompanied with the Ambassador of Cyprus to the UAE, Yannis Michaelides.
During the meeting, both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas.
Ghobash said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on their parliamentary cooperation is required, in addition to reinforcing the role of joint parliamentary friendship committees.
A parliamentary friendship committee between the two countries will hold a meeting in the first quarter of 2021, Ghobash said, and stressed the importance of improving their coordination during global parliamentary events.
Christodoulides said that the UAE was a leading regional and international stature, noting that it is a strategic partner of his country.
He also conveyed the invitation of the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus to Ghobash to visit Cyprus as head of a parliamentary delegation, to discuss ways of reinforcing their parliamentary ties.