Yemeni Minister to Asharq Al-Awsat: References for Ending Conflict Still Valid

Monday, 20 August, 2018 - 07:15
London – Badr al-Qahtani

Minister of State for National Dialogue Yassir al-Roaini stressed that the three references for ending the conflict in Yemen enjoy national, regional and international consensus, refuting allegations that they were no longer valid.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The references were comprehensive in the past and they are still valid for the present and future.”

The three references refer to the national dialogue outcomes, Gulf initiative and United Nations resolution 2216.

Once implemented, they will pave the way for the establishment of a transition period in Yemen, continued the minister.

With every passing day, the Yemenis grow more convinced that the references are key to resolving their crisis and preventing future ones, he added.

Fear of negotiations

Asked if there were concerns that upcoming negotiations with the Iran-backed Houthis would cement their authority on the ground, Roaini replied that past experiences with them have not been encouraging.

“We have spoken a lot about this and I say it again, these militias do not believe in peace. They were established on violence and destruction. They were born from darkness, chaos and blood. They make political maneuvers to prolong the war and gain time to increase the destruction and exhaust the society,” he continued.

The three references, should they be implemented, will prevent the Houthis from cementing their power on the ground, he stressed.

The references will instead restore authority to the state and return the rule of law in Yemen. They will put an end to all factors that could produce armed gangs that are rebellious to the state, he continued.

The minister also underscored the role the people can play in implementing the references.

New York conference and awareness

Furthermore, Roaini said that the upcoming conference set for New York on September 21 is part of ongoing efforts to implement the references and commit to the peace process and bolster the united international stance on them.

He said that senior officials will attend the meeting, hoping that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and diplomatic missions of friendly states would also be present there.

The minister also informed Asharq Al-Awsat of the details of the efforts exerted by the legitimate government to raise awareness among the international community on the national dialogue outcomes.

Government efforts to implement dialogue outcomes

The implementation of the dialogue outcomes will first witness the completion of the transition period, which will culminate in the establishment of the state, Roaini said. A new constitution will be drafted and referendum will be held over it.

Efforts were made in 2015 in implementing the dialogue outcomes, but the militias thwarted them, he charged.

“The legitimate government sought to continue the implementation of the dialogue within its possible means,” he said.

Initiatives and support

New initiatives will be carried out after old ones are complete, he continued.

Several activities and workshops have been organized as part of a national program to educate the people on the national dialogue outcomes, he said. Civil society groups played a part in this initiative.

The transition period in Yemen is sponsored by the international community and moving forward with various initiatives hinges on its support, Roaini added.

“We now rely on a modest budget provided by the government, but with which we organized several activities throughout liberated provinces,” stated the minister.

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