Cairo: The Yemeni government has ruled out new peace talks with Al Houthis before the Iran-allied militiamen implement a faltering truce deal on the port city of Hodeida.
The linkage was stressed by Yemen’s newly-appointed Foreign Minister Mohammad Abdullah Al Hadrami at a meeting with UN peace envoy Martin Griffiths in New York, Yemen’s official news agency Saba reported.
Last December, the government and Al Houthis reached a UN-brokered agreement in Sweden for redeployment and withdrawal from Hodeida in western Yemen. At the time, the accord was seen as a breakthrough to end Yemen’s years-long war. However, its implementation has since been stymied over Al Houthis’ recalcitrance.
Saba quoted Al Hadrami as warning against allowing the militiamen to undermine the Hodeida pact.
The government has repeatedly accused Al Houthis of violating the agreement and staging a “show” withdrawal from three ports in the Red Sea city while they handed them over to their loyalists.
Al Hadrami urged international efforts on pressure Al Houthis into complying with the Hodeida pact.
“The legitimate government does not expect those who have not abided by previous agreements to honour new ones,” the minister said, according to Asharq Al Awsat newspaper.
His meeting with Griffiths came after the latter made a regional tour that took him to Saudi Arabia and Oman in a new bid to revive stalled peacemaking in Yemen.
The militiamen still control parts of Hodeida, which is strategically important because of its key port through which most Yemen’s imports and aid enter.
Yemen’s conflict erupted after Al Houthis unseated the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and overran parts of the country, including the capital Sana’a, in December 2014.
In 2015, the Arab alliance led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, intervened in Yemen in response to a request from the Hadi government after Al Houthis advanced on the southern city of Adan, the country’s provisional capital.