It is now more than 80 days since the Stockholm Agreement was reached and the reality is that unless Al Houthi rebels live up to both the letter and spirit of the deal, it is not worth the paper it is written on. This interpretation may indeed seem harsh, but there is no other realistic one, given the reticence of those rebel forces, their commanders and their political emissaries who are beholden to Iran to abide by the terms reached in Stockholm.
Certainly, when it comes to Al Houthi positions in and around the port of Hodeida — a harbour and unloading facility essential to maintaining a flow of vitally needed humanitarian supplies and aid shipments, the ink on the signatures of Al Houthis representatives had hardly dried before the usurpers had violated the conditions.
The reality is that the international coalition of Arab forces trying to restore peace, stability and critical aid to the distressed people of Yemen have abided by the agreements and have always been willing to find a way forward through talks and conciliation. Around Hodeida in particular, the agreement reached after long sessions of negotiations has been undermined both by Al Houthi intransigence and an unwillingness to fully embrace the opportunity afforded by the agreement to provide the necessary aid and relief to Yemenis.
The international coalition along with the legitimate government of Yemen have continued to place their good faith in the successful outcome of talks, and have abided by the terms despite the ceasefire violations committed by Al Houthis.
Given that previous commitments on Hodeida have lapsed, there is naturally a reluctance to once more trust that Al Houthi envoys will abide by their commitments. Nevertheless, negotiation and agreement are necessary to ensure this conflict eases so that the people of Yemen can have the peace and stability they need.
The representatives of the government of Yemen and its legitimate allies will always abide by the terms reached in talks — and are willing to turn a blind eye to previous violations by Al Houthis when it comes to the implementation of those deals. But success does rest on the implementation of any agreement — and there’s too much at stake for too many for it not to work.
As Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary, have both reiterated, the window of opportunity for peace is closing — and Al Houthis are only to blame should that shut.