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Yemen’s Envoy to Asharq Al-Awsat: UN Should Pressure Houthis to Implement Stockholm Deal

Yemen’s Envoy to Asharq Al-Awsat: UN Should Pressure Houthis to Implement Stockholm Deal

Saturday, 23 February, 2019 - 07:45
FILE - A cargo ship and oil tanker sit at the port of Hodeidah, Yemen, September 29, 2018 (AP)
New York - Ali Barada
Yemen’s Ambassador to the United Nations called on the international community to exert “pressure” on Houthi militias to implement phase one of the Hodeidah agreement by redeploying forces in the ports of Saleef and Ras Issa, and moving to the second phase of December’s Stockholm Agreement on the withdrawal from the city of Hodeidah and its ports.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday, Abdullah Ali Fadhel al-Saadi said the pullback of Houthi rebels should come simultaneously with handing over the security of the province and its ports to a local authority, in line with the “spirit” of the Stockholm Agreement and UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

“Houthis have not yet complied with that. However, there are ongoing discussions on the redeployment of forces and the means of protecting the city and its ports,” Saadi said.

He said Houthis seek hegemony over all security issues in Hodeidah because they control the city and its ports.

“This is unacceptable,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat, saying that in the coup’s aftermath the insurgents appointed militiamen at several security apparatuses and main figures in all institutions in the city to oversee Houthi plans.

“We will only back the second phase of the Stockholm Agreement if Hodeidah’s security apparatuses return to the pre-coup phase,” he said, while also calling for abolishing the so-called Houthi foremen.

“The UN should expert pressure on Houthis to implement the (Stockholm) deal and save it from collapse… and to clearly identify the party paralyzing it,” the diplomat said.

Yemen’s legitimate government says it would not start redeploying until the Houthis withdraw from the two smaller ports of Saleef and Ras Issa.

When asked about the dates set by UN envoy Martin Griffiths to start the first steps of the redeployment phase, the spokesman for the UN chief, Stephane Dujarric, told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We have a different explanation to what Griffiths had previously stated. The two sides are committed to implementing the deal and they keep repeating such a pledge. We believe that the implementation should take place in the coming few days.”

Earlier, Griffiths said warring sides in Yemen have confirmed their agreement for the first phase of the Hodeidah redeployment plan.

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