Iran calls Houthis’ pullout from Hudaydah ‘constructive’

May 13, 2019

TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Houthis’ withdrawal from key ports of Salif and Ras Isa and Hudaydah is a “constructive” action.

“Sanaa’s action was in line with respecting the Stockholm agreement and showed the Yemeni government’s commitment to dialogue and fulfilment of obligations and also shows the Saudi-led coalition’s non-commitment,” ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said.

He urged the United Nations and also the influential countries to press the Saudi-led coalition to fulfil its obligation under the Stockholm agreement reached in December 2018.

The UN says the withdrawal of Houthi forces from key ports of Yemen’s western province of Hudaydah is proceeding “in accordance with established plans”.

However, the former Saudi-backed government still refuses to pull out it forces and end its siege of Hudaydah.

Based on a UN-brokered agreement with the ex-government in Sweden in December 2018, warring sides agreed to withdraw their forces from the ports in a two-stage process, the first phase of which from the Houthi side was unilaterally commenced on Saturday and is due to be completed on Tuesday.

The Saudi-led coalition, backed by the U.S., started the war on Yemen in March 2015 with the aim of reinstating ousted president Mansour Hadi. The war has led to famine and spread of cholera in the poor country. The UN is calling it “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

In April 2015, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif submitted a letter to then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlining a four-point peace plan for Yemen.

The plan called for an immediate ceasefire and end of all foreign military attacks, humanitarian assistance, a resumption of broad national dialogue and “establishment of an inclusive national unity government.”

“It is imperative for the international community to get more effectively involved in ending the senseless aerial attacks and establishing a ceasefire, ensuring delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance to the people of Yemen and restoring peace and stability to this country through dialogue and national reconciliation without pre-conditions,” said Zarif’s letter.

NA/PA

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