Houthis Opt for War by Refusing UN Peace Efforts

Wednesday, 10 January, 2018 - 06:30 -

Houthis Opt for War by Refusing UN Peace Efforts

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Houthi militants in Yemen. (Reuters)
Sanaa, Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat, Abdul Hadi Habtoor
The Iranian-backed Houthi militias confirmed on Tuesday their attachment to the choice of war by refusing fresh UN efforts to achieve peace in Yemen.

Houthi militias official sources said that head of the coup council, Saleh al-Sammad, rejected during a meeting with deputy UN envoy to Yemen, Moein Shraim any “partial solutions” to the Yemeni war, including a previous suggestion to hand over the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah to a neutral party.

Instead, the rebel group insisted that the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen lift the siege on Houthi-linked militias, reopen the Sanaa airport and stop launching airstrikes.

Sammad warned that the Houthis will continue fighting even if they end up controlling one section in Yemen, said the sources.

During the meeting with the UN deputy envoy, he also threatened to target maritime traffic in the Red Sea or any ship passing there should the Yemeni army continue to advance on Hodeidah province.

Commenting on Sammad’s position, Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the international community should seriously confront such statements that constitute a threat to maritime traffic in the Bab al-Mandab strait, one of the most important sea passages in the world.

He added: “Those who were saying that the Houthis are a part of Yemen who should be involved in its political process, should now be aware that they we are dealing with a terrorist movement that is no different from ISIS or al-Qaeda.”

Currently, Shraim is leading efforts in Sanaa to revive peace talks between the Yemeni legitimate government and Houthis, in a hope to reach a comprehensive deal based on the three references for a political solution in Yemen, including the Gulf initiative, outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue and Security Council Resolution 2216.

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