Yemen: ceasefire must precede any peace initiative

Yemeni Vice President Khaled Bahah says President Hadi should be returned back to his stronghold in Aden

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A ceasefire in Yemen and “particularly” in the seaport city of Aden must precede any peace initiative, the newly appointed Yemeni Vice President Khaled Bahah told reporters on Thursday.

While Bahah urged armed forces to support the “legitimate” government in exile, he said no peace initiatives would be considered unless President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi and his government return to the southern city of Aden, where it enjoys the most support.

Militias loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh have joined forces with Iranian-backed Houthis against the government and staged advances which forced it to flee.

He said “necessity” required military intervention and said after achieving “strategic goals,” his government will strive to stop the war.

“We wish for one victory and that is the victory of our nation,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Gulf Cooperation Council welcomed a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing an arms embargo against Houthi militias and blacklisting the country’s deposed president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Bahah “thanked” Russia for not objecting to the U.N. Security Council’s decision.

Meanwhile, Bahah said the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen was a “priority,” urging for “international and regional intervention.”

Bahah also said he hoped there would be no ground campaign by an Arab coalition in Yemen.

“We still hope that there is no ground campaign in line with the air strikes,” he said.

Planned military exercises in Saudi Arabia have raised speculation that the Saudi-led coalition bombing Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen for three weeks was considering the use of ground troops.

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