Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Popular Resistance Leader: Iran behind Obstruction of Yemeni Peace Talks | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Shi’ite Houthi rebels man a checkpoint at the southern entrance to the city of Sanaa November 15, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

Cairo- Taiz, the third largest city in Yemen, until this day suffers from the almost year-old besiegement imposed by insurgency militias. The lifting of Taiz’s blockade could in fact prove the extent of sincerity Houthi groups and their allies have towards sustaining the peace process, in which negotiations were set to have begun this week, in Kuwait, including both conflict parties.

The peace talks will address a score of topics receiving international consensus, such as the U.N. resolution 2216, the withdrawal of heavy armament from cities and turning them into governmental custody and relieving besieged areas, freeing them, especially Taiz.

It is worth mentioning that even though ceasefire has been in effective implementation since April 10th, insurgency militias have yet to commit to the cessation of hostilities and end their sieging and pounding of cities.

Cheikh Mahmood al-Mekhlafi, Popular Resistance leader in Taiz said: “everyone sees what is happening across a numbers of fields, the hundreds of violations in Taiz alone, which is why we do not believe their (insurgents) word on the possibility of turning in heavy weaponry to the government.”

Al-Mekhlafi expressed his deep concerns towards what is to become of the Yemeni peace talks, especially after their postponing. He considered that the ongoing Iranian support given to Houthis and their allies- pro-Saleh supporters (armed fighters supporting the Yemeni ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh) – is the main reason behind the obstruction of peace aiming dialogue.

In his talk with the DPA (German Press Agency), al-Mekhlafi said that Houthis “still receive military support from Iran, both high and medium caliber artillery they are using are manufactured in Iran and hold the Iranian seal, not to mention the small groups of Iranian trainers spread in Taiz and many other arenas.”

“They (Houthis) pay their members from the funding coming in from Iran… how can we, after knowing that, believe that they have an independent decision from the Iranians?” he added.

The Houthi’s delegation arriving late to the peace talks, once again proves that insurgents and Iranians lack credibility, al-Mekhlafi explained.

“The experience had with Houthis, in both political and military domains, casts doubts on their intentions of committing to what they had promised…. Our experience, after going to war with them and other occasions, suggests that they lie as much as they breathe,” the Popular Resistance leader said.

“We support the truce… and if they do not own up to their words, then with us in our places, will defend and free each inch of our land,” al-Mekhlafi added.

The pro-legitimacy delegation in Kuwait threatened to leave the peace talks, should the insurgency delegation not arrive for the U.N. sponsored negotiations by Thursday.

Moreover, the pro-legitimacy delegation blamed the insurgency for purposefully obstructing the negotiations by delaying its attendance for three days now.