Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

UAE welcomes breakthrough in Yemen peace talks

Dr Anwar Gargash hails UN efforts and pressure put on rebels by Emirati and Yemeni forces

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said the Houthis have been "exposed". AFP
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said the Houthis have been "exposed". AFP

The UAE has welcomed the progress made towards ending the war in Yemen during negotiations between the government and rebels in Sweden, particularly on resolving the status of Hodeidah.

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, described the agreements announced on Thursday after a week of UN-brokered talks as "encouraging news".

The UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said both sides had agreed to a ceasefire in Hodeidah province, the "withdrawal of all forces" from Hodeidah city, and UN supervision of its ports, a lifeline for humanitarian aid.

Dr Gargash said the diplomatic progress was made possible by sustained military pressure by the Arab Coalition and Yemeni forces against the Houthi rebels along the Red Sea coast and around Hodeidah.

"The Coalition has held its commitment to maintain the flow of humanitarian assistance and to avoid damaging the port," he said in one of series of tweets after the talks ended.

Dr Gargash expressed his sincere appreciation to the 5,000 Emirati soldiers and Yemeni forces for their readiness to liberate Hodeidah port. "Their bravery and commitment made the diplomatic progress possible," he said.

He also voiced appreciation for the efforts of the UN and its special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, who took up his post in March as Yemen's civil war entered its fourth year.

Dr Gargash said commitment to the political process and efforts led by the UN, and the need to continue these steps to ensure the stability and prosperity of the Yemeni people, must be attained through a sustainable political solution as per UN Resolution 2216, the Wam state news agency reported.

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The breakthrough in the peace negotiations was also welcomed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, who described the talks in the Swedish village of Rimbo as "a crucial first step towards ending the conflict in Yemen, tackling the humanitarian emergency and addressing the sharp deterioration in the national economy".

In a joint statement released after the talks, the ambassadors to Yemen of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China commended both sides for" setting aside their differences, engaging in good faith and co-operating with the special envoy to achieve progress in a number of important areas which will have an immediate and significant positive impact upon the lives of the people of Yemen, and serve to build trust between the parties for an enduring comprehensive political settlement".

The ambassadors also thanked Sweden for hosting the talks and the Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE governments for "invaluable support and facilitation".

"In an admirable demonstration of international co-operation, representatives from over 20 countries worked in proximity with the special envoy during these consultations," the ambassadors said.

Updated: December 13, 2018 08:10 PM

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