Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemen’s Legitimate Government Opts for Military Solution | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Houthi rebels ride a patrol truck in Sanaa October 9, 2014. (REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

Cairo-Peace negotiations held in Kuwait to resolve the crisis in Yemen ended abruptly on Friday, as Houthi rebels and ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced the establishment of a political council in a severe blow to the political solution called for by the international community in the war-torn country.

Politicians from Yemen’s legitimate government told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that peace talks in Kuwait have ended, as the government’s delegation held farewell meetings with the representatives of countries sponsoring the peace negotiations, including Saudi Arabia, Britain and the United States.

The sources told Asharq al-Awsat that the Yemeni government’s delegation has explained to the ambassadors of the 18 countries fostering the talks that the flagrant move by the rebels should be met with serious measures by the international community.

“We call on the international community to take more serious measures and to condemn these actions that undermine not only the track of negotiations but also ruin the whole political process,” the sources said.

On Thursday, Yemeni insurgents and Saleh announced the establishment of a political council to manage the country’s affairs, in violation of Yemen’s constitution and international resolutions to end the crisis in Yemen.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, special envoy to the Secretary-General on Yemen, said that this development contradicts commitments made during the United Nations-led peace talks.

Meanwhile, high-ranking sources from the Yemeni premiership said that the government had no choice but to resort to military measures in order to liberate the occupied territories and establish state sovereignty.

The sources added that the army and popular resistance were both ready to launch the final battle to liberate the capital and eradicate the insurgents, with the support of the international community and the Saudi-led Arab alliance.

The government sources noted that Houthis’ announcement to establish a political council to manage the country’s affairs was a blow to international resolutions, the Gulf initiative and the peace talks held in Kuwait. They added that the Yemeni legitimate government had announced on several occasions its commitment to establishment of peace in line with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls for the withdrawal of militias from the Yemeni capital and other occupied areas and the handover of arms.

The government sources went on to say that the council established by the Houthis and Saleh was not political but revolutionary that is equal to the revolutionary committee which perpetrated hideous crimes against the Yemeni populations.

They also said they expect more countries to join the alliance to restore Yemen’s legitimacy, as it is now clear that Houthi rebels are not seeking peace, but instead, maneuvering to gain more time to organize their ranks with a blatant Iranian support.

“Today, the international community is not only facing Houthis and Saleh in Yemen, but also Iran, which is smuggling arms and providing money to support those groups,” the sources added.

They called on the international community to condemn “the coup against international resolutions and the peace process.”

In exclusive remarks to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Yemen’s Ambassador to the United States, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, said that the decision to form a political council has hampered all international efforts to establish peace and revealed the real intentions of the ousted president. He added that such a decision was another step towards the unknown.

Meanwhile, the European Union said that the agreement between Houthi rebels and Saleh “contravenes its commitments to Yemen’s peace negotiations” hosted by Kuwait under U.N. patronage.

An EU spokesman, who was quoted by the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), said that the announcement of unilateral governance arrangements is not in line with the peace process, and endangers the substantial progress made during the Kuwait talks.

He added that the agreement clearly breaches Yemen’s constitution and the provisions of the GCC initiative and its implementation mechanisms.