Tueller: We Support Griffiths, Three References… Houthis Boost Qaeda’s Expansion

Tueller: We Support Griffiths, Three References… Houthis Boost Qaeda’s Expansion

Saturday, 10 November, 2018 - 09:45
US Ambassador to Yemen Mathew Tueller (Asharq Al-Awsat)
London- Badr al-Qahtani
US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller said his country was seeking the establishment of unity and stability in Yemen, stressing that the US interests were tied to the presence of a strong Yemeni government.

It is in the US government’s interest that Yemen be free from the hold of extremist groups, the ambassador said, noting that the restoration of the country’s safety, security and good relations with its neighbors, would serve the interests of the entire region.

In a phone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Tueller underlined that the US did not have plans to divide Yemen based on sects or other considerations, but called for the implementation of the three basic references, namely the Gulf Initiative, the outcome of national dialogue, and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Tueller, who will soon assume a new position as the US ambassador to Iraq, showed full confidence and support to UN Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, saying that he had won the trust of all parties and had extensive experience in mediation.

Asked about Washington’s recent call to hold dialogue between the different parties within 30 days, the US ambassador said that if such a call was not met positively, the US would be very disappointed, but would continue to work with the legitimacy to meet the needs of the Yemeni people.

The US will work with the Yemeni government to meet their needs, and therefore those who support the Houthis will realize that their interests lie with the legitimate government, according to Tueller.

Referring to statements made by US Secretaries of State and Defense, who called for an end to the crisis, Tueller said he believed that the military operation neither achieved victories nor met the Yemeni people’s interests. All parties should engage in the political process that would cater to the aspirations of the Yemenis, he stressed.

The ambassador emphasized that the US did not have plans to divide the country based on ethnic or sectarian considerations. He noted that at the national dialogue conference, Yemenis have expressed their opinion about the establishment of a government system, in which power is transferred from central to local levels within the country. This is the US position, which is consistent with the outputs of the national dialogue, he affirmed.

Tueller expressed his support to the UN envoy, whom he said had extensive experience and mediation skills that allowed him to reach out to the different parties to the conflict.

When asked if he had confidence in the Houthis, he replied that Ansarallah supporters (Houthis) were an integral part of Yemen. No one who understands them more than the Yemenis themselves. They are part of Yemen and would stay so, he said, noting that the solution lied in the Yemenis’ vision of power and power sharing.

On the other hand, Tueller said that the Houthis have given greater freedom to Al-Qaeda members and other extremist groups to move freely in the country. By abducting and destroying state institutions, the Houthis have contributed to strengthening the positions of Al Qaeda and extremist groups and increasing administrative corruption, he affirmed.

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