World, Europe

'Window of opportunity’ to end conflict in Yemen

Participants of Yemen Quad Meeting reaffirm their commitment to comprehensive political solution

Sibel Uğurlu   | 15.02.2019
'Window of opportunity’ to end conflict in Yemen


By Sibel Morrow


The foreign ministers of the UK, U.S., Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates met in Warsaw, Poland to discuss the situation in Yemen, agreeing there is a “window of opportunity” to end the conflict there.

In a statement released Thursday following the two-day Yemen Quad Meeting, they also vowed to redouble their efforts to reach a political solution.

Stressing their commitment to a comprehensive political solution, the ministers called on the Yemeni parties to rapidly and fully implement the agreements reached in December 2018 in Sweden "for the sake of the Yemeni people".

Hodeidah Agreement

The ministers welcomed the preliminary agreement reached on the deployment of forces in the city of Hodeidah by the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC).

They also called on the Houthis and the Yemeni government to confirm their commitment to this plan and to work urgently with the RCC and the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) to implement the mutual redeployment of forces from Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa in compliance with their obligations.

The ministers stressed that there should be “no further delaying tactics” with regards to implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement and agreed to monitor the situation, coordinate closely and meet again if there are any further delays.

The ministers called on the Yemeni parties -- particularly the Houthis, who still control the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Isa -- to ensure the security and safety of UNMHA personnel and to facilitate the unhindered and expeditious movement into and within Yemen of personnel, equipment, provisions and essential supplies in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2452.

Stressing their concern about the bureaucratic impediments by the Houthis hampering UNMHA’s vital work, the ministers called on the Yemeni parties to redouble their efforts to finalize arrangement for implementation of the prisoner exchange agreement and to establish the Taiz Joint Coordination Committee.

Iranian support for Houthis

Iran’s de-stabilizing effect on Yemen, through the illicit provision of finance, ballistic missiles and advanced weaponry to the Houthis was also discussed.

The ministers noted the UN Panel of Experts’ finding that Iran has provided advanced weaponry to the Houthis in violation of UNSCR 2216 and UNSCR 2231.

The ministers strongly condemned the Houthi drone attack on Yemen's Al-Anad airport on Jan. 10, 2019 which, they said, posed threats to regional security and prolonged the conflict.

The ministers expressed full support for Saudi Arabia and its legitimate national security concerns and called for an immediate end to such attacks by Houthi forces and their allies.

- Urgent humanitarian crisis

The ministers discussed the urgent humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict and the importance of stabilizing the economy; keeping food and fuel coming into the country and supporting economic confidence-building measures as part of the peace process.

They also welcomed the Yemeni government’s determination to resume regular payment of the salaries of civil servants, teachers and health workers across the country and called on the Houthis to cooperate with this process.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The ongoing violence has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as one of “the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

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