Yemen’s leader tells UNGA of need for sustainable peace in his country

The conflict in the country has been a major topic during UN General Assembly

Yemen’s leader calls for peace in his country

Yemen’s leader calls for peace in his country
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Rashad Al Alimi, chairman of Yemen's Presidential Council, on Thursday spoke to delegates at the UN General Assembly of the need for lasting peace and an end to the conflict in his country.

“Sustaining peace and ending the war,” Mr Al Alimi said. “This is the only way to guarantee that the Yemeni people will be able to build their state institutions that guarantee and protect their rights and freedoms and equality amongst citizens.”

Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Iran-backed Houthis took control of the capital Sanaa in September 2014.

The conflict has slowed over the past year, however, and peace efforts have picked up. A Houthi delegation visited Riyadh earlier this week for the first time since the war began and Mr Al Alimi met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

During his speech, Mr Al Alimi thanked the UAE and Saudi Arabia for their “solidarity” and said the two countries had helped to “prevent the collapse of the institutions of the Yemeni state”.

But he slammed Iran for its “interventions” in Yemen and called on the international community to condemn Tehran's activities in the region.

“We call on member states to commit to the arms embargo and to prevent Iran from providing its militias with military capabilities such as ballistic missiles and drones used to launch terrorist attacks against innocent civilians,” Mr Al Alimi said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Houthis held a massive military parade in Sanaa, during which thousands of soldiers and heavy vehicles carrying ballistic missiles and armed drones were put on display, according to Reuters.

“We know that the Houthi militias only use peace agreements as a way to delay further and acquire further resources,” Mr Alimi said told delegates. In April last year, the UN helped to broker a six-month ceasefire in the country, which expired in October.

He added, however, that he did believe there was a path forward.

“There is a sure path towards peace by rekindling the trust of the Yemeni people in international legitimacy and in their national government,” he said.

“For that to happen, we need to support the legal government, we need to strengthen the economy so that the government can provide services so that we can put an end to the militias so that we can build a brighter future.”

He called on the international community to help support Yemen's government.

“We need to believe that superpowers should send a strong message to militias, not only in Yemen, but all over the world, that they should not overturn constitutional legitimacy so that we can end any wishes that groups could have to establish entities that compete with legitimate governments,” he said.

Updated: September 21, 2023, 5:44 PM