Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Yemen Warring Parties to Meet aboard UN Ship Next Week

Yemen Warring Parties to Meet aboard UN Ship Next Week

Sunday, 15 December, 2019 - 08:30
Delegates from the Yemen government and Houthi militias meet to discuss a prisoner swap deal in Amman, Jordan January 17, 2019. (Reuters)

A meeting is expected to be held between representatives from the Yemeni legitimate government, the United Nations and Iran-aligned Houthi militias on a UN ship off the coast of Hodeidah on Wednesday, Yemeni sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The ship, Antarctic Dream, is docked around 30 kilometers off Hodeidah port.

The meeting marks a year since the signing of the Stockholm deal that was reached between warring parties in December 2018 in Sweden's capital and established the Redeployment Coordination Committee, a body set up by the UN to oversee the ceasefire and troop exit in Hodeidah.

Representatives from the legitimate government and Houthis have already met on a UN ship this year for talks as part of a UN-led push to implement the ceasefire.

Meanwhile, a UN official said Saturday that the number of members at the United Nations Mission in Support of the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) has greatly increased, however the staff is not complete yet.

“There are still some logistic issues we are working to resolve,” the official said.

Also on Saturday, Asharq Al-Awsat spoke with researchers about their views regarding the effectiveness of the Stockholm deal.

They said that given Houthi intransigence, the legitimate government should use military pressure if it wants the accord to succeed.

Baraa Shiban, a Yemeni political researcher, said that back in 2005, the Houthis could have been defeated by military force when the cities of Hidan and Omran were about to fall in the hands of the legitimate government.

Shiban said the same scenario was repeated in 2018 when Hodeidah was about to fall in the hands of the legitimacy.

“However, the war suddenly stopped,” he said.

“Peace is a courageous choice to all parties and I oppose the use of military force. However, it was military pressure that enforced a new reality in Hodeidah: the reality of logic.”

Editor Picks