Yemeni FM: ‘World now realized’ Houthi ‘danger’

Yemen’s FM also described the Houthis an ‘Iranian tool’ after they launched a ballistic missile at Makkah

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Yemen’s Foreign Minister said on Friday that the “world has realized” the “danger” emanating from the Iran-backed Houthi militia group and its allies after Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile 65 km away from the city of Makkah, Islam’s holiest place.

“They are not qualified for peace and the world has realized the danger of this group,” Abed Al-Malik Al-Mikhlafi, told Al Arabiya’s sister channel Al Hadath, from Cairo.

The foiled attack has drawn condemnation from the Gulf states, the Arab League and Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s center of learning.

“The escalation by the [Houthi] militias and its latest missile launch on holy Makkah reveals that they are an Iranian tool aimed at destroying the whole region and igniting a regional conflict,” he said.

The foreign minister of the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi described that the Houthis and their allied forces belonging to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh “do not realize that they are a tool.”

“The audacity” of the recent attack is seen as a provocation, angering Muslims who see it as a violation a holy area.

If they “realized this, they would have stopped,” he said.

He also said that the Houthis have revealed “their criminality” in the past two years as they worked to “destroy the Yemeni fabric and national unity.”

The Houthis in September 2014 had forced Hadi into exile after their attempted coup. Houthis and their Saleh allies are still in control of Sanaa and have announced a political committee to administer the crisis-hit country after the Yemen peace talks in Kuwait ended without any breakthrough in early August.

“The militias continue this path by having the audacity to attack a holy Muslim site in Makkah as part of its plan,” he added.

Asked if Yemen’s UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has handed out any plans, Makhlafi said “none.”

“What is the use of plans with a group that does not understand the meaning of peace. What is the point if they do not realize what they are doing,” he said. “If this group realized the important of peace, we could have reached peace earlier.”

In early October, Yemen’s UN envoy Ahmed and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault urged restart of the dialogue and peace efforts between Yemen’s warring sides during a joint press conference in Paris.

The Yemeni government had offered many compromises. “They have no desire [for peace], despite our compromises,” he said.

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