A member of the Huthi delegation (L) returning from peace talks in Sweden shake hands with supporters upon their arrival at Sanaa International Airport in the Yemeni capital on December 14, 2019.  / AFP / Mohammed HUWAIS
A member of the Houthi delegation greets supporters in Sanaa after returning from peace talks in Sweden. AFP

Yemen's Houthi rebels face a choice of military or political power



Yemen’s internationally recognised government vows to include the Houthis in country’s political future if they disarm and cut ties with Iran, with a ceasefire in Hodeidah from Tuesday providing the first test of the rebels' intentions.

A ceasefire went into effect at midnight on Monday, with early reports suggesting sporadic clashes continued in Hodeidah into Tuesday morning.

"The Houthis will be a part of Yemen's political framework," Foreign Minister Khalid Al Yamani told The National following the conclusion of peace negotiations in Sweden last week.

"We will live together under one roof, even though we may have political or religious differences, but Yemen is for all."

However, the rebels must give up their heavy weaponry and cut ties with Iran and its proxies before the government considers including them in the cabinet, Mr Al Yamani said.

“Achieving peace in Yemen will also be beneficial for the Houthis.”

The UN-led negotiations in the Swedish village of Rimbo produced agreements on a prisoner exchange, the ceasefire in Hodeidah — the main entry point for desperately needed food and aid — and for talks on a ceasefire in Taez.

A Yemeni official, who asked not to be identified, told The National that the government was open to giving the Houthis any position in the cabinet.

“If a Houthi representative wants to become a prime minister then we will accept, but on one condition — they must hand over their heavy weapons,” the official said.

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Rana Ghanem, a member of the government delegation at the Sweden talks, said peace would ultimately prevail.

"No matter how much the Yemeni people have endured, they will not accept going back 200 years, neither the rule of an imam nor following a religious reference that will control the people," Ms Ghanem told The National.

Yemen is a civil, democratic country, a republic that refuses to go back to monarchy, she said.

Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst for the Arabian Peninsula at the International Crisis Group, said one positive in the conflict was that all sides recognised that, at the end of the day, all Yemeni parties involved had a stake and a role in the country's future.

"Those who will be best at inter-Yemeni reconciliation are the Yemenis themselves — this has been the case throughout history and will remain so," Ms Dickinson told The National.

Peace in the balance

The talks in Sweden sidestepped discussions on a political transition, and focused instead on a prisoner swap, securing UN administration of the strategic Red Sea port of Hodeidah, and reopening the airport in Sanaa, the rebel-held capital.

“In the immediate future, the key word is vigilance. We have to remain vigilant to make sure that the progress made in Sweden becomes tangible de-escalation on the ground,” Ms Dickinson said.

“It's going to be tough, difficult work — and there will be setbacks. But now is the time for all actors with a stake in Yemen to focus on implementing the agreements from Stockholm.”

If the warring parties abide by what was agreed in Sweden, it could form the foundation of a peace process that slowly rebuilds trust between them. If not, it could take a long time to get them back to the negotiating table.

“A major risk at the moment is that Yemen's friends across the world see the optimism of Sweden and sit back to relax. We can't afford to do that and let what hope we have now built collapse,” Ms Dickinson said.

The UN has said another round of talks will be held in early 2019 to find agreement on a framework for political negotiations and a transitional governing body.

However, the government has warned that they will not participate in another round of discussions if the Stockholm agreements are not implemented.

Diplomats at the UN say efforts are on to draft a Security Council resolution to back up the agreements, which will help to ensure they are honoured while the peace effort moves on to establishing a wider truce and the political framework to end more than four years of conflict.

Zakat definitions

Zakat: an Arabic word meaning ‘to cleanse’ or ‘purification’.

Nisab: the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to pay zakat. Traditionally, the nisab threshold was 87.48 grams of gold, or 612.36 grams of silver. The monetary value of the nisab therefore varies by current prices and currencies.

Zakat Al Mal: the ‘cleansing’ of wealth, as one of the five pillars of Islam; a spiritual duty for all Muslims meeting the ‘nisab’ wealth criteria in a lunar year, to pay 2.5 per cent of their wealth in alms to the deserving and needy.

Zakat Al Fitr: a donation to charity given during Ramadan, before Eid Al Fitr, in the form of food. Every adult Muslim who possesses food in excess of the needs of themselves and their family must pay two qadahs (an old measure just over 2 kilograms) of flour, wheat, barley or rice from each person in a household, as a minimum.

Dubai Rugby Sevens

November 30, December 1-2
International Vets
Christina Noble Children’s Foundation fixtures

Thursday, November 30:

10.20am, Pitch 3, v 100 World Legends Project
1.20pm, Pitch 4, v Malta Marauders

Friday, December 1:

9am, Pitch 4, v SBA Pirates

The specs

Engine: 3.0-litre six-cylinder MHEV

Power: 360bhp

Torque: 500Nm

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Price: from Dh282,870

On sale: now

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 4

Main display: 7.6" QXGA+ Dynamic Amoled 2X, 2176 x 1812, 21.6:18, 374ppi, HDR10+, up to 120Hz

Cover display: 6.2" HD+ Dynamic Amoled 2X, 2316 x 904, 23.1:9, 402ppi, up to 120Hz

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 4nm, octa-core; Adreno 730 GPU

Memory: 12GB

Capacity: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: Android 12, One UI 4.1.1

Main camera: Triple 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 50MP wide (f/1.8) + 10MP telephoto (f/2.4), dual OIS, 3x optical zoom, 30x Space Zoom, portrait, super slo-mo

Video: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, full-HD@30/60fps, HD@30fps; slo-mo@60/240/960fps; HDR10+

Cover camera: 10MP (f/2.2)

Inner front camera: Under-display 4MP (f/1.8)

Battery: 4400mAh, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, 'all-day' life

Connectivity: 5G; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC (Samsung Pay)

I/O: USB-C

Cards: Nano-SIM + eSIM; 2 nano-SIMs + eSIM; 2 nano-SIMs

Colours: Graygreen, phantom black, beige, burgundy (online exclusive)

In the box: Fold 4, USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price: Dh6,799 / Dh7,249 / Dh8,149

'Gehraiyaan'

Director:Shakun Batra

Stars:Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, Dhairya Karwa

Rating: 4/5

Bib Gourmand restaurants

Al Khayma
Bait Maryam
Brasserie Boulud
Fi'lia
folly
Goldfish
Ibn AlBahr
Indya by Vineet
Kinoya
Ninive
Orfali Bros
Reif Japanese Kushiyaki
Shabestan
Teible

Yuki Means Happiness
Alison Jean Lester
John Murray

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Specs – Taycan 4S

Engine: Electric

Transmission: 2-speed auto

Power: 571bhp

Torque: 650Nm

Price: Dh431,800

Specs – Panamera

Engine: 3-litre V6 with 100kW electric motor

Transmission: 2-speed auto

Power: 455bhp

Torque: 700Nm

Price: from Dh431,800

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

RESULTS

Welterweight

Tohir Zhuraev (TJK) beat Mostafa Radi (PAL)

(Unanimous points decision)

Catchweight 75kg

Anas Siraj Mounir (MAR) beat Leandro Martins (BRA)

(Second round knockout)

Flyweight (female)

Manon Fiorot (FRA) beat Corinne Laframboise (CAN)

(RSC in third round)

Featherweight

Bogdan Kirilenko (UZB) beat Ahmed Al Darmaki

(Disqualification)

Lightweight

Izzedine Al Derabani (JOR) beat Rey Nacionales (PHI)

(Unanimous points)

Featherweight

Yousef Al Housani (UAE) beat Mohamed Fargan (IND)

(TKO first round)

Catchweight 69kg

Jung Han-gook (KOR) beat Max Lima (BRA)

(First round submission by foot-lock)

Catchweight 71kg

Usman Nurmogamedov (RUS) beat Jerry Kvarnstrom (FIN)

(TKO round 1).

Featherweight title (5 rounds)

Lee Do-gyeom (KOR) v Alexandru Chitoran (ROU)

(TKO round 1).

Lightweight title (5 rounds)

Bruno Machado (BRA) beat Mike Santiago (USA)

(RSC round 2).

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

The lowdown

Badla

Rating: 2.5/5

Produced by: Red Chillies, Azure Entertainment 

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Singh, Tony Luke

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Company profile

Company name: Ogram
Started: 2017
Founders: Karim Kouatly and Shafiq Khartabil
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: On-demand staffing
Number of employees: 50
Funding: More than $4 million
Funding round: Series A
Investors: Global Ventures, Aditum and Oraseya Capital

Last five meetings

2013: South Korea 0-2 Brazil

2002: South Korea 2-3 Brazil

1999: South Korea 1-0 Brazil

1997: South Korea 1-2 Brazil

1995: South Korea 0-1 Brazil

Note: All friendlies

TOURNAMENT INFO

Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier

Jul 3- 14, in the Netherlands
The top two teams will qualify to play at the World T20 in the West Indies in November

UAE squad
Humaira Tasneem (captain), Chamani Seneviratne, Subha Srinivasan, Neha Sharma, Kavisha Kumari, Judit Cleetus, Chaya Mughal, Roopa Nagraj, Heena Hotchandani, Namita D’Souza, Ishani Senevirathne, Esha Oza, Nisha Ali, Udeni Kuruppuarachchi

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Director: Francis Lawrence

Stars: Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth

Rating: 3/5

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Company profile

Name:+Dukkantek 

Started:+January 2021 

Founders:+Sanad Yaghi, Ali Al Sayegh and Shadi Joulani 

Based:+UAE 

Number of employees:+140 

Sector:+B2B Vertical SaaS(software as a service) 

Investment:+$5.2 million 

Funding stage:+Seed round 

Investors:+Global Founders Capital, Colle Capital Partners, Wamda Capital, Plug and Play, Comma Capital, Nowais Capital, Annex Investments and AMK Investment Office  

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Sweet Tooth

Creator: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen
Rating: 2.5/5

The specs

The specs: 2019 Audi Q8
Price, base: Dh315,000
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged V6
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 340hp @ 3,500rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 2,250rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 6.7L / 100km
 

The Word for Woman is Wilderness
Abi Andrews, Serpent’s Tail

MATCH INFO

Watford 1 (Deulofeu 80' p)

Chelsea 2 (Abraham 5', Pulisic 55')

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Series information

Pakistan v Dubai

First Test, Dubai International Stadium

Sun Oct 6 to Thu Oct 11

Second Test, Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Tue Oct 16 to Sat Oct 20          

 Play starts at 10am each day

 

Teams

 Pakistan

1 Mohammed Hafeez, 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Asad Shafiq, 5 Haris Sohail, 6 Babar Azam, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed, 8 Bilal Asif, 9 Yasir Shah, 10, Mohammed Abbas, 11 Wahab Riaz or Mir Hamza

 Australia

1 Usman Khawaja, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Mitchell Marsh, 5 Travis Head, 6 Marnus Labuschagne, 7 Tim Paine, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Jon Holland

The Kites

Romain Gary

Penguin Modern Classics

Our legal advisor

Ahmad El Sayed is Senior Associate at Charles Russell Speechlys, a law firm headquartered in London with offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Experience: Commercial litigator who has assisted clients with overseas judgments before UAE courts. His specialties are cases related to banking, real estate, shareholder disputes, company liquidations and criminal matters as well as employment related litigation. 

Education: Sagesse University, Beirut, Lebanon, in 2005.