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Yemen: Houthis Try to Gloss over their Hodeidah Loss

Yemen: Houthis Try to Gloss over their Hodeidah Loss

Sunday, 16 December, 2018 - 09:45
View of the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen November 23, 2018. (Reuters)
Cairo - Ali Rabih
The Iran-backed Houthi militias have been attempting since their delegation’s return from the Sweden peace consultations to gloss over their losses in the coastal Hodeidah province.

The legitimate government and Houthis agreed during the weeklong talks, which concluded Thursday, to a cease fighting in Hodeidah and withdraw their troops as part of confidence-building measures to pave the way for a wider truce and political negotiations.

The Houthis attempted to portray the deal as a political victory against the legitimate government, while in fact they were covering for their losses when they agreed to withdraw from Hodeidah ports and pave the way for UN supervision.

Head of the Houthis’ so-called ruling council Mahdi Mshat received the militant delegation that had taken part in the Sweden talks to laud it on its performance.

The delegation had in fact thwarted UN agreements on economic issues, employee salaries and Sanaa International Airport.

Head of the illegitimate Houthi government Abdulaziz bin Habtour had meanwhile dispatched a cable to the militia leader to congratulate him on the success of the Sweden talks.

He deemed them a “major national and international achievement.”

“This is the first step on the path towards peace and achieving Yemen’s security, stability and sovereignty,” he claimed.

Yemeni activists dismissed the Houthi allegations, saying they were “promoting their illusions to their followers whereby they are claiming to have achieved a political victory.”

“The reality is that the militias agreed to place Hodeidah and its port under international control,” they noted.

The Houthis were better off handing control of Hodeidah to the legitimate government and withdrawn from it without resorting to the UN.

Meanwhile, the government rejected criticism against it in wake of the announcement of the Hodeidah deal.

Deputy chief of its Sweden delegation Abdullah al-Uleimi said: “The Stockholm agreement on Hodeidah will ultimately lead to the Houthi withdrawal and transition of administrative power to the legitimate government.”

“The entire world has understood the Hodeidah deal, except for the Houthis, who are still trying to promote their illusions to their followers and their ally, Iran,” he tweeted.

“The Sweden consultations exposed the Houthi violation of the humanitarian situation in Yemen to the entire world,” he continued.

Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani said that the Houthis’ succumbing to the political course confirmed that military force, political will and the support of the Saudi-led Arab coalition were effective weapons to force the militias to accept peace and end their coup.

The Sweden deal binds the Houthis to unconditionally continue consultations during the upcoming round that is scheduled for January, he added.

Moreover, he noted the positive outcomes of the Stockholm deal in that it called for removing Houthi-planted landmines from Hodeidah and its ports, which is confirmation of the militias’ illicit practices.

The minister added that the deal underlined the three references as the foundation for the solution to the crisis in Yemen.

The references are the national dialogue outcomes, Gulf initiative and UN Security Council resolution 2216.

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