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Yemeni Analysts to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sweden Agreement Stillborn

Yemeni Analysts to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sweden Agreement Stillborn

Monday, 14 January, 2019 - 07:30
Retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert (C), meets officials during his visit to the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on December 24, 2018. AFP
Aden - Ali Rabih

Yemeni analysts and officials described on Sunday a ceasefire deal struck in Stockholm last month as stillborn, saying the United Nations is shying away from announcing its failure.

“The Sweden agreement was stillborn,” information ministry undersecretary Abdul Baset al-Qaedi told Asharq Al-Awsat about the deal reached between the legitimate Yemeni government and Houthi insurgents in the city of Rimboon, on the outskirts of the Swedish capital, on December 13.

For his part, political researcher and writer Thabet Al Ahmadi said: “The Sweden talks failed before being launched.”

He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the first signs of failure appeared at the start of consultations, which considered the Houthi rebels as the legitimate government's counterparts.

The researcher criticized the agreement’s text, saying it could have different interpretations.

“Therefore, Houthis are capable of interpreting the deal in a way that meets their interests,” he said.

Ahmadi said Houthis do not differentiate between an agreement and a dispute. He added that their military wing was operational in Yemen before, during and after the Sweden talks.

Commenting on threats by Houthi leaders to expel the UN monitoring team, headed by retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert, out of Hodeidah province, Ahmadi said: “I am not surprised by such behavior. Houthis could sidestep any agreement.”

Author and political researcher Fares al-Bel also told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Sweden agreement has become obsolete.

However, “the UN does not want to announce it, despite being the sponsor and guarantor of the deal,” he said.

Bel said the developments in Yemen are evidence of the UN failure to solve the country’s crisis.

“The UN was unable to force Houthis to engage in the peace process,” he said.

The researcher called on the Yemeni government to take a firm position to end the confusion on the Sweden agreement.

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