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London Denies Rescuing Houthis, Says Confident About Success of UN Resolution

London Denies Rescuing Houthis, Says Confident About Success of UN Resolution

Thursday, 20 December, 2018 - 09:15
British Spokesman for the Middle East and North Africa Edwin Samuel (Asharq Al-Awsat)
London - Badr al-Qahtani

The British spokesman for the Middle East and North Africa, Edwin Samuel, said his country was confident about the success of the forthcoming UN resolution on Yemen.

He noted that the resolution would carry the main features of the Stockholm Agreement, which was the first step “in what I would like to call the peace process.”

Responding via an email correspondence to a list of questions by Asharq Al-Awsat, Samuel said he hoped the British draft-resolution on Yemen would be adopted this week.

The draft-resolution also addresses the opening of ports and the delivery of humanitarian assistance without the threat of violence from any side, in addition to guaranteeing a kind of truce between the parties, according to the British spokesman.

He emphasized in this regard an urgent need for Yemenis to solve the crisis. He stated that 90% of population was living below the poverty line, including 70% under the line of hunger, citing estimates.

“The situation needs an urgent solution, so we hope it will be approved this week,” he said.

On the possibility of using the veto right by any of the five Security Council permanent members, Samuel explained that intensive consultations were underway between all members, especially the permanent members, adding that he was confident that the resolution would succeed and would enjoy broad international support.

Samuel stressed that the British government was determined to find solutions to the Yemeni conflict. He affirmed that his country would continue to provide tangible support for the Yemeni people, pointing that there was a big number of Yemeni nationals living in the United Kingdom and were part of the country’s social fabric.

“We see how they feel for what is happening in Yemen; and therefore our sympathy is not only at the governmental level, but also on a humanitarian and popular level,” he said.

Asked if the British draft-resolution was an implementation mechanism of the Stockholm Agreement, the British spokesman for the MENA region noted that the draft-resolution was undoubtedly aimed at implementing the Stockholm Agreement, but emphasized that additional agreements were needed.

Highlighting “a high degree of good will” among the parties during the Stockholm negotiations, Samuel underlined that if any side violated the terms of the resolution, the Security Council had the right to impose the appropriate sanctions.

As for the measures that both the legitimate government and the Houthis should adopt to end the crisis, Samuel reiterated his country’s rejection of a military solution, saying: “All of us, even our Saudi and Emirati partners, understand that there is no military solution. We must urge the Houthis to implement their obligations under the Stockholm Agreement because the settlement of this conflict needs good intentions and promising implementation.”

Responding to accusations that Britain has rescued the Houthis when the legitimate forces were about to defeat them near Hodeidah, the spokesman asserted that Britain did not rescue any side, but wanted to save the Yemeni people from the dire needs they were facing.

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