UAE calls for ending appeasement of Houthis

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The UAE called for ending appeasement of the Iran-backed Houthi militia during a UN Security Council briefing on Yemen, state news agency (WAM) reported on Wednesday.

“During the past months, we’ve heard several briefings, including that of [Hans] Grundberg,” who is the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, “regarding his efforts to bring the Houthis back to the table of negotiations,” said UAE permanent representative to the UN Lana Zaki Nusseibeh.

“However, terrorist attacks targeted civilian facilities in the UAE resulting in casualties among innocent civilians. We cannot but ask, when will the appeasement of this terrorist group end?” said Nusseibeh.

In January, the Houthis targeted the UAE with three cross border aerial attacks using cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as drones. All the attacks targeted civilian sites and infrastructures and led to the death of three civilians.

During the briefing, Nusseibeh stressed the UAE’s sovereign right to take all the measures necessary to protect the country and its citizens and residents from any “terrorist” attacks.

She noted that the UAE would take such measures while respecting its commitments based on international law, adding that the Houthi “terrorist attacks are a flagrant violation of all international laws and norms.”

Earlier in February, General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said the US will help the UAE replenish interceptors it uses to knock down incoming missiles following a spate of unprecedented attacks by Houthi fighters in Yemen.

McKenzie's remarks came after the Pentagon's announcement of a deployment of a guided missile destroyer and advanced US F-22 fighter jets to the UAE.

Nusseibeh also voiced the importance of putting an end to the Houthi’s “hostile behavior.”

“This requires the international community to take serious and decisive measures where it must exert heavy pressure on the [Houthi] militia and those who support it,” she said, adding that such pressure begins by tightening sanctions and drying up the Houthis’ sources of funding.

Reiterating her call for designating the Iran-backed Houthi militia as a “terrorist” group, Nusseibeh noted that the Houthis have repeatedly broken their pledges to respect any agreement or keep a promise due to the lack of clear international pressure.

Commenting on the Houthis militia’s alleged use of Hodeidah port to store weapons, she called on the UN to have presence in the port to prevent using it to serve military purposes and to launch attacks that threaten the security of navigation and countries in the region.

Nusseibeh reaffirmed the UAE’s stance that supports resuming political negotiations among Yemen’s different parties and noted the importance of UN-led and international efforts to help reach a political solution to end the Yemeni crisis.

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