A meeting in Beirut between Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and the spokesman of Houthi militias, Mohammed Abdul Salam, raised a wave of criticism targeting Hezbollah, Lebanon, as well as the United Nations.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted on Sunday: “How does the policy of disassociation, which Lebanon needs for its political and economic balance and its Arab and international positions, applies to Hassan Nasrallah receiving a delegation of Houthi rebels.”
“Lebanon cannot be a logistical or political station for Houthis, and ignoring the issue will exacerbate its repercussions,” he added.
The Yemeni embassy in Washington considered the meeting as new evidence of Hezbollah’s destabilizing role in Yemen, saying on Twitter that the Houthis’ recent visit to Nasrallah is yet another proof to the overwhelming evidence of the destabilizing role of Hezbollah in Yemen.
The visit came just a couple of weeks ahead of the upcoming round of the UN peace talks in Geneva.
Although a well-informed western source said everyone should currently focus on the Geneva consultations, analysts who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat said the meeting would cause a dilemma for the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, who is to lead the consultations on September 6.
“The visit of Abdul Salam to Hassan Nasrallah has a clear link with the Houthi project within the Iranian axis. He also wants to send a message that there is a political supporter, Iran, and this move is the result of leniency by the United Nations,” says Yemeni political writer Abdullah Ismail.
“The militias are moving in the direction of the consultations without any significant pressure, as there is a kind of inaction by the United Nations towards them… and no one puts pressure on them,” he added.