Yemen’s delegation: No peace without Houthis giving up arms

Yemeni peace talks kicked off on Thursday in Stockholm, Sweden, between the Yemeni government and Houthi militias. (AFP)

The Yemeni government delegation to UN peace talks held in Sweden, said on Friday that peace can only be achieved if the pro-Iranian Houthi militias give up their arms, pointing out that the legitimate government is ready to reopen Sanaa international airport immediately, under certain conditions.

The delegation added that control must be put in place to prevent the exploitation of Sanaa airport in the war.

The legitimate government delegation said - regarding the strategic port city of Hodeidah - that the national army “have means to resolve the file of the port of Hodeidah, if peaceful efforts fail.”

Meanwhile the United Nations said that there is no time limit for Yemen peace consultations, adding that the current phase of these consultations focuses on building confidence between the the legitimate government delegation and the Houthis’ delegation.

On Thursday UN Special envoy Martin Griffiths announced that all parties agreed on a prisoner swap.

Houthis escalate violence in Yemen’s Hodeidah

The UN peace negotiations got underway in the Swedish capital city of Stockholm on Thursday amid continuous obstruction attempts by the Houthi militias violating the declared truce in Yemen’s Hodeidah port city. This happened despite the objective of confidence-building measures pushed by the United Nations.

The militias launched mortar and artillery attacks targeting the City Max commercial center in Hodeidah, destroying and burning it completely, according to local sources.

The cycle of violence widened to include shelling and looting of a number of civilian houses in the directorate of al-Tahita in an escalation seen as a push by the Houthis to put the legitimate government and the Arab coalition in a difficult position in front of the international community which is pressing to end the war in Yemen.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the UN World Food Program, David Beasley, has accused the Houthi militias of blocking access to food aid to civilians devastated by war in different parts of the country. He said that the Houthis blocked the UN agency access to its equipment.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen, Mohamed al-Jaber, who heads the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen, said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have donated one billion US dollars to UN agencies, but that only 40 percent of that sum was spent.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58