Gargash on Yemen: A stable state cannot exist with unlawful militias

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Proposed UN-led talks in Sweden mark a “critical opportunity” to bring peace to war-torn Yemen after four years of conflict, a top Emirati official said Tuesday.

The comments from the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the pro-legitimacy Arab Coalition fighting Houthi militias in Yemen, came as UN envoy Martin Griffiths is in the capital Sanaa seeking to push forward the planned talks.

“Evacuating wounded Houthi fighters from Sanaa once again demonstrates the Yemeni government & the Arab coalition’s support for peace,” the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said in a tweet.

Fifty wounded rebels left on a UN-chartered plane Monday for Oman to be treated, in what was termed “a confidence-building” measure ahead of any talks.

No date has yet been set for the talks, which are due to be held in Sweden, but hopes have been building that they could go ahead this week.

“We believe Sweden offers a critical opportunity to successfully engage in a political solution for Yemen,” Gargash said in his tweet.

He added that “a sustainable Yemeni-led political solution offers the best chance to ending the current crisis.”

UN envoy Griffiths on Monday said on Twitter that he was “pleased to confirm” 50 injured Yemenis were to be treated on neutral ground in Muscat and “urged all Yemenis to work together in pursuit of peace and stability”.

Meanwhile, sources pointed out that Houthi seniors, close to the leader of the militias Abdulmalik al-Houthi intervened in the last hours of the transfer to exchange some of the injured tribesmen with other cousins and relatives of his, causing a delay of the international plane’s departure.

Sources in Sanaa airport asserted that the Houthi militia refused, without giving any reasons, to transport the injured among their ranks to Sanaa airport who were supposed to be transferred to Oman via the UN carrier, which arrived on Monday to Sanaa airport.

The sources also confirmed that the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, who arrived just hours prior to Sanaa airport, voiced his dissatisfaction with the Houthi militia’s unwillingness to fulfill its promises.

- With AFP