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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 July 2018

Saudi's UN envoy says Hezbollah aims to destabilise region

Yemen filed a complaint to the UN against Hezbollah for interfering in the country's affairs 

Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador Abdallah Al Mouallimi, centre, said the Arab Coalition wants the issue of control of the key port city of Hodeidah to be resolved peacefully.. Reuters
Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador Abdallah Al Mouallimi, centre, said the Arab Coalition wants the issue of control of the key port city of Hodeidah to be resolved peacefully.. Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Abdallah Al Mouallimi, has accused Hezbollah of attempting to destabilise the Middle East.

“Saudi Arabia will confront the Lebanese Hezbollah militia everywhere and expose its practices to the international community,” he said in an interview with Al Arabiya television on Wednesday.

Mr Al Mouallimi’s statement came after Yemen filed a complaint at the UN against the Iran-backed Lebanese group for interfering in its affairs.

Yemen’s Foreign Minister, Khaled Al Yamani, said that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s June 29 speech, in which he expressed support for the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, was “a blatant intervention in the internal affairs of my country, which would cause great damage to Yemen’s supreme interest and national security”.

In his speech last month, Mr Nasrallah addressed the Houthis and said: “I am ashamed that I am not with you. I wish I could be one of your fighters and fight under the guidance of your brave and dear leaders.”

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. Al Manar TV / EPA
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. Al Manar TV / EPA

Mr Al Mouallimi reiterated on Wednesday that the Arab Coalition fighting in Yemen to restore the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi to power wants the issue of control of the port city of Hodeidah to be resolved peacefully.

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The Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, intervened in the Yemen war in March 2015 at the request of Mr Hadi’s government. Pro-government forces and the alliance launched an offensive on the city of Hodeidah on June 13. The rebels had been using Hodeidah’s port to smuggle weapons provided by Iran.

The offensive was temporarily paused late last month to aid UN peace efforts for a political solution.

Mr Al Mouallimi said, however, that UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has yet to “accomplish a breakthrough” in convincing the rebels to withdraw fully and unconditionally from Hodeidah.

“I think [the rebels] are procrastinating and they are using the international mediator to have more time to research … and this is not something that can be accepted indefinitely,” he said.