UAE's Anwar Gargash slams Houthi rebels for breaching Yemen peace agreement

The rebels are trying to avoid withdrawing their forces from Hodeidah, says Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

UAE state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, speaks during a press conference at his office in Dubai on June 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE
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Dr Anwar Gargash has criticised Yemen's Houthi rebels for their failure to adhere to the ceasefire brokered by the UN.

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said the Iran-backed rebels were violating agreements made between them and the Yemeni government at talks in Sweden in early December.

“Sweden’s agreement on Yemen has exposed the Houthis completely in front of the international community. It exposes the Houthi practices and its continued breach of the agreement on Hodeidah. Their theatrics of withdrawal have failed,” he said in a tweet on Monday.

According to Yemeni government officials, the rebels have disguised loyal administrators and fighters in the uniforms of local forces and deployed them to the city and its three ports.

The Houthis are trying to “circumvent” a clause demanding the full withdrawal of military personnel by both sides, Dr Gargash said.


Read more:

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“This trend documents the criminal nature of the Houthis in front of the international community, their attempts will not succeed,” he said.

Yemen receives about 70 per cent of its food imports and humanitarian aid through Hodeidah. The ceasefire was aimed at ensuring supplies reach the 14 million Yemenis on the brink of famine.

Both sides in the war have accused the other of blocking shipments of aid.

“The Houthis' rejection of allowing humanitarian aid through Hodeidah is a clear indication of who was obstructing relief and humanitarian work in Yemen,” Dr Gargash said.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Sunday that the Houthis had failed to honour an agreement to open a humanitarian corridor between Hodeidah and the capital.

Mr Dujarric said Patrick Cammaert, who heads a team of UN monitors in Hodeidah, had expressed "disappointment at their missed opportunity to build confidence between the parties”.