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Yemen’s Top Diplomat Urges Pressure on Houthis to Implement UN-brokered Deal

Yemen’s Top Diplomat Urges Pressure on Houthis to Implement UN-brokered Deal

Thursday, 21 February, 2019 - 12:00
Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid al-Yamani, Getty Images.
Aden - Ali Rabih
Despite the progress noted by the UN special redeployment monitor in Hodeidah on the first phase for clearing armed parties from the key Red Sea port city, reports registered a delay in implementation caused by Iran-allied Houthi militias.

Yemeni government sources reported that the announcement made by head of the UN redeployment committee General Michael Lollesgaard on launching redeployment would not be initiated until a comprehensive agreement with Houthis was finalized, including all details of the withdrawal from the city of Hodeidah and the three ports and the handover of state institutions to internationally-recognized legitimate authorities.

Government representatives to the redeployment committee, headed by Major General Saghir bin Aziz, stressed the need to adhere to all clauses of the comprehensive agreement signed in Sweden last December, including a total Houthi redeployment, withdrawal and handing over port management and local authority.

According to government sources, discussions are still ongoing with Lollesgaard who is keen on leniency with Houthis in order to advance a symbolic pullout from the ports of Ras Isa and Salif, before arranging for post-withdrawal security and administrative conditions, a move which is vehemently rejected by the Yemeni government.

For his part, Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid al-Yamani stressed the need for placing international pressure on the insurgents to implement the Stockholm Agreement in full.

More so, official sources noted that the top Yemeni diplomat had discussed with the Swedish Envoy to the Middle East and North Africa, Peter Semneby, means for implementing agreements on Hodeidah, the exchange of war prisoners and political detainees and understandings on Taiz.

Yamani also relayed to Semneby the resolve of the internationally-recognized government, headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, on finding a sustainable solution for the ravaging Yemeni crisis and implementing the Stockholm Agreement.

“The Yemeni government does not see the failure of the implementation of the deal as an option, because it poses a threat to confidence-building measures required by the peace-building phase in Yemen,” the official Saba news agency quoted Yamani as saying.

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