New York, On a visit to New York, Yemeni foreign minister Khaled Al-Yemany called on Thursday for upholding the Stockholm Agreement which was signed on December 13, 2018 in the Swedish capital between the Government of Yemen and Houthi rebels, agreeing to a ceasefire in the port city of Hodeidah.
Al-Yemany was speaking at the International Peace Institute where he was quizzed by its vice president Adam Lupel.
The two parties in the conflict also agreed to withdraw their troops from Hodeidah and to let the port be managed and monitored with United Nations support to enable import of the urgently-needed humanitarian assistance for Yemenis affected by famine following four years of civil war. The Stockholm Agreement also includes an exchange of prisoners and outlines steps towards achieving a ceasefire in the city of Taiz.
Al-Yemany lamented the non-implementation of the Stockholm Agreement by the Houthi rebels who had failed to honour their end of the agreement on the pullout. Yemen's foreign minister said that there had been 3,500 ceasefire violations since then.
Despite the initial impression created by the Houthis that they were withdrawing, satellite pictures showed there had been hundreds of trenches. We take our promises seriously Hodeidah could be the beginning of the end of the war. We do not want a replica of the Hizbollah in Yemen and the Houthis have to disarm themselves, he said, adding that the Houthis look at Hodeidah from the Iranian perspective and had stated four times that they were withdrawing but the ground realities painted a different picture. There has been no withdrawal (by the Houthis) on the ground, he observed.
Al-Yemany said that he had discussed the agreement with several European ministers, including the European Commission's High Representative for Foreign Affairs/Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, in Brussels.
We should not lose the momentum gained from the Stockholm Conference if we lost it, It could lead to more fighting. We appeal to the international community and the UN to support our endeavours, the Yemeni foreign minister said.
Earlier in the day, Al-Yemany also met the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutterres. Their talks focused on the efforts being undertaken to revive and implement the Stockholm Agreement.
Al-Yemani reiterated the Yemeni government's support for the UN envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and the head of the redeployment coordination committee (RCC) General Michael Lollissgard.
He stated that the Yemeni government has been committed to the cease-fire in spite of the serious violation by the Houthi militia.
Al-Yemani touched upon Houthi militia's intransigence and foot-dragging about the implementation of Hodeida agreement. He called on the UN and International Security Council to hold Houthi militia accountable for rejecting to implement Stockholm Agreement.
For his part, the UN Secretary General stated that he personally and the UN were committed to find a comprehensive solution to the Yemeni crisis. He noted that the UN's efforts and its envoy are focusing now implementing Hodeidah agreement.
Source: Nam News Network