Malabo-Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi reiterated the internationally-backed government’s acceptance for any proposed ceasefire based on three regulated references which are the Gulf initiative, outcome on national dialogue, and United Nations Resolution 2216.
Mekhlafi confirmed that a comprehensive settlement for the Yemen crisis is chiefly conditioned by coup militias withdrawing from fronts and turning in illegal arms.
The U.N. Special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed will soon be returning to the region for a new round of Riyadh-Muscat sponsored negotiations on Yemen, Mekhlafi said in his interview with Asharq Al-Awsat.
More so, the FM noted that his government has presented its overview of the peace roadmap presented by the U.N. envoy, after rejecting the proposal for failing to fulfill the three abovementioned conditions.
Mekhlafi gave an alarming remark on the Houthi-led coup being an extension to Iran’s expansionist goals. “The coup is directed by Iran to compromise and target the safety and security of neighboring Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Responding to the recent remarks made by United States Secretary of State John Kerry on finding peace in Yemen, Mekhlafi said that his government will be negotiating and reacting positively to any provided settlement so long the Gulf initiative, outcome of national dialogue and U.N. Resolution 2216 are taken into consideration.
Mekhlafi added that the elected government led by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is open to all political settlements abiding to the restoration of full control to the legitimate government and national army, and aligned with the pre-set conditions.
He said that a political settlement can only be reached after order is restored to the country, and not the other way around.
When asked on an exact timing during which the U.N. envoy would resume his undertakings in Yemen, Mekhlafi said that he would soon be visiting political parties based in Riyadh and Muscat, in hopes of restarting the peace process.
Commenting on chances for a temporary ceasefire that could lead to a permanent cessation of hostilities, Mekhlafi highlighted that during previous truces coup militias committed countless violations projecting ill will and no desire for military peace. More so, coup forces inhibited the empowering of a U.N.-sponsored ceasefire monitor. Within a simple 48 hours of truce, coup militias failed to deliver commitment and intentions for a settlement whatsoever, next to a large number of field transgressions and a wide hate media campaign.
The insurgency led by Iran-aligned Houthi militants and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh loyalists has disbanded Yemen and propelled the Gulf country into a vicious civil war in an attempt to overturn Hadi’s authority.
Mekhlafi, however, explains that the coup-alliance is based on logistics and interests and will break up as soon as one of the two reaches its ends. “A love affair among snakes,” labeled it Mekhlafi in reference to the lack of trust.
As for foreign support delivered to coup militiamen, Mekhlafi says that there is no publicly declared support for the insurgency, save for Iran’s sounded recognition of the coup as legitimate.