Sides agree to UN talks
NEW YORK, Aug 4, (Agencies): Kuwait has reiterated anew that there is no military solution to the crisis in Yemen but a political solution based on the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism, outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2216.
This came in Kuwait’s speech during the Security Council session on the situation in Yemen, which was delivered by Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi. Al-Otaibi added that any peace plan that is not based on these principles will complicate the situation and prolong the crisis, which will have serious implications on regional and international security and stability.
He stressed Kuwait’s support for the efforts of UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and the United Nations’ efforts to settle the conflict in Yemen peacefully.
He pointed out that despite the announcement of the coalition to stop its military operations to restore the city and the port of Hodeidah to be under the authority of the legitimate government of Yemen, however, the Houthi group continued its deliberate targeting of civilian and populated sites in Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles, which reached 163 so far, in addition to more than 66,000 explosives fired towards civilian targets, leaving human and material losses.
Al-Otaibi pointed out that the Houthi militias are practicing new forms of challenge and threat to the will of the international community by targeting the safety of international shipping in the straits of Bab Al-Mandab and the Red Sea, whether by planting sea mines or targeting commercial and oil vessels, the last of which was the targeting of two Saudi ships last week with anti-ship missiles which could have led to an environmental disaster in that region, taking advantage of their control of the port of Hodeidah to carry out these attacks.
He renewed Kuwait’s condemnation in the strongest terms of these ballistic missile attacks by the Houthi group on the Kingdom’s territory and its threat of neighboring countries as well as its threat to the safety of international traffic in Bab Al-Mandab and the Red Sea, a matter that constitutes a serious violation of international and humanitarian laws. “We support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its measures aimed at preserving its security and stability, and we also commend its decision to grant 25,000 visas to pilgrims from all Yemeni provinces without exception or discrimination,” he said.
As for the humanitarian situation, the donor conference on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, which was held in Geneva in April this year, organized by the United Nations, Switzerland and Sweden, which resulted in commitments exceeding $2 billion, has had a positive impact on tackling the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, especially in the areas under the control of the Houthi group.
UN Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths on Thursday lauded His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah’s successful efforts in addressing the challenges of ending war and establishing peace. He told the UN Security Council that he had met His Highness the Amir in Kuwait early this week, saying “His Highness the Amir’s life should be a source of inspiration to all of us”. Yemen’s internationally recognised government is ready to attend UNbrokered talks next month in Geneva but is “not optimistic”, a government official said on Friday.
“We will go but we are not optimistic,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. He said there remained “huge differences” between the government and rebels. The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, on Thursday told the Security Council that the United Nations will invite Yemen’s warring sides for talks in Geneva on September 6 to discuss a framework for peace negotiations. Griffiths said “a political solution” to end the war in Yemen was “available” and urged world powers to support the new push for peace negotiations.
There has yet been no response from the rebels. UN-brokered political talks on Yemen broke down in 2016 amid demands for a rebel withdrawal from key cities and power-sharing with the Saudi-backed government. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a military campaign to restore the government to power and push back the Shiite Houthi rebels, who hold the capital Sanaa. The war in the impoverished country has since left nearly 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Meanwhile, a member of the political wing of Yemen’s Houthi rebels said Saturday the insurgents were willing to attend UN-brokered talks, although they had low expectations of a positive outcome. Salim Meghles said the Ansarullah (Supporters of God) political wing is “not opposed to such consultations” which are aimed at “reaching a general framework for negotiations”. “We are not opposed to travelling to any neutral country to take part in such consultations,” he told AFP.