Yemeni president accuses Houthis of obstructing settlement

Houthis “clearly work to import the Iranian experience to Yemen, which our Yemeni people will not accept or tolerate at all, no matter the sacrifices,” said Hadi.
Tuesday 13/10/2020
A 2018 file picture shows a fighter  loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi saluting during a ceremony in the city Taiz. (AFP)
A 2018 file picture shows a fighter loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi saluting during a ceremony in the city Taiz. (AFP)

RIYADH – Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi said Monday his government had made “concessions” to help forge peace in the war-torn country and exchange prisoners with Houthi militias, whom he accused of obstructing any settlement.

However, these concessions, the Yemeni president said, were “met only with arrogance and intransigence” by the Iran-backed Houthis.

The Yemeni president, speaking during a meeting with UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths in the Saudi capital Riyadh, stressed that the Houthis “clearly work to import the Iranian experience to Yemen, which our Yemeni people will not accept or tolerate at all, no matter the sacrifices.”

“We are looking forward to concrete action on the ground [regarding peace] and the prisoner exchange file,” the official Yemeni News Agency quoted Hadi as saying.

He criticised “media coverage that shuffles cards without achieving tangible results” and stressed his aspiration to end the war and achieve the just peace that the Yemeni people deserve and regional and international powers have called for.

Hadi stressed his continued support for UN peacemaking efforts in Yemen, especially those based on international resolutions like UN Security Council resolution 2216.

However, he said results on the ground since the Stockholm Agreement was signed in 2018 reveal that the Houthis are not committed to peace.

Griffiths, for his part, said he appreciated all efforts and consultations aimed at achieving peace, including the release and exchange of prisoners, which was done in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

He also said the international community is closely monitoring the situation in Yemen and appreciates the president’s efforts to support peace, stressing that he will work himself to achieve the peace that Yemeni people deserve.

A UN official previously revealed that Griffiths would arrive in Riyadh to try and persuade the government to agree to a joint declaration process on a draft UN initiative to resolve the Yemeni conflict.

Griffiths seeks to gain support for the initiative to end the long stalemate in peace efforts in the country.

The draft initiative’s most prominent articles include a comprehensive ceasefire and the resumption of political consultations as soon as possible, in addition to humanitarian arrangements to alleviate Yemeni civilians’ suffering.

The ceasefire would pause all land, air, and sea military activity, including operations of the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia. The draft initiative would also commit the Houthis to halting attacks targeting Saudi territory.

The draft initiative includes a ceasefire agreement similar to the one which ended fighting on Yemen’s western coast, under which a UN-led military coordination committee would be formed with the participation of military representatives from both sides to oversee the ceasefire and present general strategic direction to the Joint Operations Centre and local provincial committees.

The military coordination committee, according to the draft initiative, would also have an operations centre that includes liaison officers from both sides and UN representatives, similar to the Redeployment Coordination Committee in Hodeidah.