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Two-Track Jeddah Agreement on Yemen: Handing over Weapons and Forming Unity Government | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives U.S. Secretary of State. (SPA)

Jeddah-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Thursday a new solution on Yemen based on a political and security track during a press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in Jeddah.

GCC states reached a final agreement on the initiative which calls for Houthi militias to hand over their heavy arms including ballistic missiles to a third party, in addition to the formation of a new national unity government, and the respect of the sovereignty of neighboring countries and the international water passages.

Kerry said participants were able to come out with a vision regarding the roadmap on Yemen.

“We agreed on a renewed approach to negotiations with both a security and political track simultaneously working in order to provide a comprehensive settlement,” Kerry said during the press conference.

Kerry called on Houthi militias and their allies to back the new initiative.

Commenting on the new agreement, Jubeir said: “There is no argument for any party to say that the proposed formula now is incomplete, therefore, Houthis and Saleh must seize the opportunity to reach a peaceful solution.”

He added: “We also discussed ideas to refute the arguments of Houthi militias and Saleh to derail the consultations.”

Tensions in Yemen escalated when President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was sent into exile, after former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his Houthi supporters seized the capital city of Sana’a in 2014.

Jubeir also expressed hope that the Yemeni parties would resume talks to reach a peaceful solution in Yemen.

He said the meeting has also discussed the issue of the paralysis of the Yemeni institutions, especially, the financial agencies, noting that there was a meeting in Riyadh two days ago with specialists in this field to consider how to protect financial institutions and distance them from further paralysis due to the actions of Houthis and Saleh.

The foreign minister also confirmed that Saudi Arabia, GCC member states, the U.S. and the UK have expressed interest and eagerness to bring humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Thursday’s negotiations in Jeddah took place between the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the UK.

Kerry and Jubeir then met with their counterparts from the GCC.

Kerry said the implementation of the new plan would start with a negotiation session between U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and all parties involved in the Yemeni crisis.

Also, the foreign ministers of the GCC expressed support for the efforts of the U.N. envoy to achieve agreement on a roadmap, in the near future and to reach a comprehensive political and security solution in Yemen in line with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216 and the Gulf initiative.

The already frozen negotiations to end 18 months of fighting in Yemen collapsed this month and Houthi militias resumed shelling attacks into the kingdom.

Kerry said the U.S. is committed to the security of Saudi Arabia, adding he was concerned about attempts to attack Saudi border towns.

“We were deeply troubled by the photographs which were shown to me early on by His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Nayef showing missiles that had come from Iran that were being positioned on the Saudi border,” he said.

Kerry added: “It is not a threat just to Saudi Arabia; it is a threat to the region, it is a threat to the United States, and it cannot continue.”

He also called on the Yemeni parties to remove the siege on Yemeni cities and allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

In Jeddah, Kerry also met with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at Al-Salam Palace.

During the meeting, they both discussed bilateral cooperation in various fields and the latest developments in the region.