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Yemen Govt. Criticizes UN Envoy’s Security Council Briefing

Yemen Govt. Criticizes UN Envoy’s Security Council Briefing

Tuesday, 18 December, 2018 - 08:45
Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani. (AFP)
Cairo, Riyadh – Ali Rabih and Asharq Al-Awsat
The legitimate Yemeni government criticized a briefing by United Nations special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths before the Security Council in which he said that the government had expressed reservations on the framework of the recent Sweden consultations.

Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani expressed his government’s reservations to Griffiths’ claims before the council on December 14.

In a letter to the envoy, he questioned him for making such criticism, noting that he failed to mention the Iranian-backed Houthis’ rejection of an initiative to reopen Sanaa airport to international flights via Aden airport.

He also noted that he deliberately ignored the fact the Houthis had rejected an economic proposal that would have led to the payment of salaries of civil service employees throughout Yemen.

Moreover, Yamani urged the UN to be firm with the Houthis in regards to the implementation of the agreement reached at the Sweden consultations that concluded last week.

He specifically underlined their withdrawal from Hodeidah city and its strategic port.

The deal is set to take effect Tuesday. It calls for implementing a ceasefire in Hodeidah province and its main port, as well as the ports of al-Salif and Ras Isa. Pro-government and militia forces are expected to withdraw from Hodeidah.

This will pave the way for placing these areas under UN supervision ahead of restoring legitimate authority control over them.

A UN committee will oversee the stages of the implementation of the deal.

Yamani said that the UN must execute its duties in ensuring the agreement is respected.

He said that a new round of consultations, projected for January, cannot be held if the Sweden agreement is not implemented.

Yemeni government officials had accused the Houthis of escalating their military operations before the Tuesday. They blamed them for the firing of rockets, digging of trenches and looting Hodeidah port and government institutions.

Government sources doubted that the militias would commit to the agreement, in wake of Houthi attempts to remain entrenched in Hodeidah under various security excuses.

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