Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

“Kerry’s Plan” for Yemen Accepted by Government, Rejected by Rebels | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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n armed man loyal to the Houthi movement holds his weapon as he gathers to protest against the Saudi-backed exiled government deciding to cut off the Yemeni central bank from the outside world, in the capital Sanaa, Yemen August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Aden- Yemeni government welcomed on Saturday the plan announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah last Thursday to restart peace talks with a goal of forming a unity government. However, Houthi rebels rejected it.

The government’s first official reply to Kerry’s roadmap was announced by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdul-Malik Al-Mekhlafi, who said: “The Gulf-U.S.-British meeting in Jeddah carries a strong message to rebels revealing that the international community cannot bare more delays and postponements.”

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.

Several news agencies had quoted on Saturday a Houthi rejection to hand over its Ballistic Missiles, which Kerry said was “threatening Saudi Arabia and the U.S.,” and which continues to reveal the intransigence of the rebel group.

U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Tueller told Asharq Al-Awsat that the war in Yemen would end only if warring parties resume peace talks and accept a national unity government that would eventually lead to the withdrawal of militias from the main Yemeni cities and the handing over of weapons.

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

Washington is also upset from the use of Iranian missiles in the fighting, adding that Iran should decide whether it wants to play a constructive role in the region, or to continue stimulating tension and chaos, the Ambassador said.

“Iran did not help in Yemen. We are very displeased with the use of Iranian missiles, which are placed close to the Saudi borders,” Tueller said.

He said the U.S. was determined to end the conflict through peaceful means. “There is no military solution in Yemen, but a political one,” Tueller said.

He added that Russia, as part of the G18 group, also supports a peaceful solution in Yemen. “We have not seen any signs of Russia military intervention in Yemen,” Tueller said.