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Ould Cheikh: Houthis’ Ballistic Missiles a Dangerous Escalation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed speaks during a press conference with the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah on August 8, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

New York- UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed criticized Houthis for launching ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, and condemned the recent insurgent threats to expand the firing of missiles towards Gulf countries, saying such behaviors were considered an “extremely dangerous escalation.”

Speaking on Yemen’s situation at the UN Security Council, the envoy announced his plan to revive talks between the Yemeni warring parties by suggesting a comprehensive initiative for a solution in the war-torn country.

“I am currently working on a comprehensive plan that includes humanitarian initiatives to rebuild trust as well as bringing the parties back to the negotiations table,” he said.

Following his statement at the Security Council, Ould Cheikh told Asharq Al-Awsat that he plans to present his initiative to the concerned parties during a meeting that might be held soon in Geneva.

He added that his plan also involves enhancing the authorities of the port city of Hodeida and to pay the salaries of all employees across Yemen.

The envoy called on member states and the international community to offer their assistance in this regard.

“We hope this commitment will translate into action and deepen their engagement with me on the basis of these initiatives in order to reach a peaceful political solution,” he said, adding that the conflict in Yemen is creating a desperate situation in every facet of daily life.

Ould Cheikh urged the Security Council to use all of its political and economic power to exert pressure on all parties to commit to a peace pact.

The envoy spoke about an air strike ona residential suburb in Sana’a on 25 August, which had claimed the lives of 14 civilians and injured 16 others, while shelling from Houthi-controlled zones of residential areas in Taiz city on September 15 and 18 had killed and injured tens of civilians.

For his part, French ambassador to the United Nations Francois Delattre, who is president of the Security Council for October, told reporters following the session that Council members reiterated their support for a political solution as the only way to end the conflict in Yemen and their call on all parties to immediately agree on the modalities for a durable cessation of hostilities.