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Yemen FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: No New Talks before Implementation of Sweden Deal

Yemen FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: No New Talks before Implementation of Sweden Deal

Tuesday, 23 April, 2019 - 06:30
Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yemany. (AP)
Jeddah – Saeed al-Abyad
The legitimate government of Yemen will not launch a new round of consultations with United Nations special envoy Marin Griffiths before the Iran-backed Houthi militias fulfill their commitments to the Sweden deal, declared Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yemany.

The government will not kick off new consultations before the deal is implemented, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The agreement, reached in Stockholm in December 2018, calls on the Houthis to withdraw from the city of Hodeidah and its three ports and hand over control to the local authorities.

“The government has given its all to reach a political solution, but the militias have not heeded all of these international efforts. Any upcoming meetings will, therefore, be suspended until the militias withdraw all of their fighters, members and advisors from Hodeidah,” Yemany continued.

The UN envoy and government are keen on implementing the Stockholm deal, he stressed.

Addressing Houthi pledges that they will withdraw in a short time, the minister noted that those are just claims and nothing has materialized on the ground.

He explained that the Houthis believe that they can deceive the international community, so they are stalling in implementing the Sweden deal. Such acts are futile because the truce will ultimately force them to quit Hodeidah. There can be no shirking this obligation.

Griffiths had proposed last week a new plan to implement the first phase of the withdrawal after he was previously met with Houthi stalling. He did not disclose when the plan will begin and said that he will act quickly to resolve pending issues related to the second phase of the plan, most notably in regards to local security forces.

Meanwhile, the Houthis have continued to amass their forces inside Hodeidah in anticipation of a possible military confrontation should Griffiths fail in peacefully persuading them to withdraw from the city.

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