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Griffiths Says Houthis Hesitant in Implementing Deal on Yemen’s Hodeidah

Griffiths Says Houthis Hesitant in Implementing Deal on Yemen’s Hodeidah

Thursday, 14 March, 2019 - 06:30
UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths during a UN Security Council session. Asharq Al-Awsat file photo
New York - Ali Barada
The United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and General Michael Lollesgaard, who heads the newly-created UN mission to monitor the redeployment from Hodeidah, have “raised hope” on the possibility of implementing the first stage of the Stockholm Agreement “in the comings days or weeks,” Security Council diplomats said.

The UN-brokered deal between Yemen’s warring sides was struck in December in the Swedish capital. The legitimate government and Iran-backed Houthi militias agreed to begin a redeployment of forces in the port city of Hodeidah, but the insurgents have stalled in respecting their commitments.

Asharq Al-Awsat learned that there was “constructive dialogue” during a Security Council closed-door meeting on Wednesday aimed at saving the Stockholm Agreement.

Griffiths briefed the Council on the continuous efforts to implement phase one of the deal. He said Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the legitimate government were cooperating to implement the agreement.

But he said that the Houthis were still “hesitant” after refusing to pull away from the ports of Saleef and Ras Issa as agreed as part of the first stage.

Lollesgaard, who also briefed the Council, said he will continue to press for action on the ground.

France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre, the current council president, told reporters after the closed-door meeting that there was "no posturing but constructive dialogue" and united support for Griffiths.

Ahead of the Council meeting, Griffiths met with ambassadors of permanent council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

On Tuesday, the ambassadors of the P5 in Yemen said they were "extremely concerned" that agreements reached in Stockholm had not been implemented and expressed support for UN efforts to "secure the earliest possible implementation of the arrangements" for redeploying forces from the ports and city of Hodeidah.

The ambassadors said in a joint statement that the pullback should begin "without further delay and without seeking to exploit the redeployments by the other side."

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