Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Washington: Our Proposal for Yemen could be Amended | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Houthi fighters ride a truck while patrolling a street in Sana’a January 21, 2015. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

London, Aden – U.S. diplomatic sources asserted on Tuesday that the U.S. does not oppose revising the proposal of Secretary of State John Kerry about an agreement to end the war in Yemen.

U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Mathew Tueller told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Kerry’s plan is not engraved on a stone, but could be amended except the hierarchy of the steps it includes.”

Last week, Tueller and U.S. Assistant Secretary Tim King had visited Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi and handed him a letter sent from Kerry clarifying the U.S. Secretary of State’s comments about an agreement to stop hostilities in Yemen and to reach a durable settlement to the conflict, saying that Kerry had only made the deal with the Houthis.

Kerry had surprised observers early last week by announcing a bilateral agreement with Yemen’s rebels to stop the fighting and form a national unity government by the end of this year. The Yemeni government quickly rejected the move.

Tueller said on Tuesday that the proposal on Yemen was not “a peace agreement” but a chance for warring parties to return to the negotiation table. He said taking the lightest security measures would allow the government to safely return to Sana’a from where ministers could resume their work without fearing Houthi militias or others.

Asked about the Yemeni government’s attachment to the three references as a condition to solve the country’s crisis, Tueller said those references could serve as a document for a road-map used in later stages to solve Yemen’s ongoing problems. “Talks with U.N. Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed are based on the three references using constructive and operational methods.”

Meanwhile, President Hadi issued on Tuesday major changes at the Army command in line with the resumption of military operations at all fronts, after a truce to end fighting in Yemen ended.

The military changes included the appointment of Major General Ahmed Saif al-Yafei as Deputy Chief of General Staff, and Brigadier General Saleh Mohammed as first commander of the military district in Hadhramaut.

In a related development, Yemeni Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Obeid Bin Dagher said on Tuesday he was pleased with the opening of a bureau for the U.N. Human and Relief Operations in the Yemeni interim capital of Aden.

Dagher spoke after he met with the U.N. assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs Rasheed Khal Kov.

The Yemeni PM added that his government would call on all diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to Yemen to operate from Aden.